Last week at our orientation, the facilitator raised the theory that the rise of poverty was related to society's move away from communitites to houses. After WWII, people started moving away from cities and apartment complexes to suburbia, wanting a house, a lawn, and a white picket fence. This life style lead to more and more isolationism, with each house becoming it's own unit, rather than an apartment building and it's sense of community. This isolationism then led to people being more concerned with themselves, and not wanting to help their fellow man. The facilitator then went on to say we need to re-build this sense of community. While that may be a solution, I wonder if instead we need a paradigm shift? Perhaps those communities worked in the past, but as we advance into the future, who says the past was better? Who says that's the best we can get? I think there is partially a bias, a "back in the good ole days" type attitude that keeps people from seeing the problems of the past. Who knows, maybe we are going down a spiral, but the other part of me wonders if instead of going down, we're just shifting laterally, and picking a new path . . .
So I went to browse the thrift stores today for a lamp. Ended up Walmart was the best deal for a room lamp, and I'm going to have to go back to get a little reading/desk lamp at Goodwill tomorrow. I'm also going to have to go to Salvation Army to check out couches and the like. I almost bought myself a can opener and cheese grater today. The Goodwill had lots of OXO utensils. For those of you who don't know, OXO makes some good stuff, designed to be very useable. The can opener was only $3, and I would have got it, except I realized I already had one, and a nicer one isn't going to improve my quality of life. Amazing what living on an AmeriCorps living subsistence will do . . .