What does your ideal community look like? How is it organized, and how is community life structured? What values does the community share?
I grew up in a neighborhood on James Island called Lawton Bluff. I could walk to the the YMCA, which was less than 2 blocks from my house. I loved it! Now the Y is called something else, it says “Charleston Gymnastics Training” but I think it’s actually a community center or something. It was an idyllic place to grow up, but now that I’m older the houses are too close together for me. I want more yard and more privacy. My idea of an ideal community has changed as I’ve gotten older.
What is community? The term community has two distinct commutative meanings: 1) Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a small village that shares common values. The term can also refer to the national community or international community, and 2) in biology, a community is a group of interacting living organisms sharing a populated environment. (From Wikipedia)
Since we’re not talking biology here, we’re referring to a social unit that shares common values. Well I grew up in a community and I’d like to say that most of the people in the community shared common values, but I seriously doubt it. There’s always an exception to the rule, and if I remember correctly there were a few unsavory people in our neighborhood (one that got arrested for having indecent photos of children=child pornography, but back then they didn’t talk about stuff like that the way we do now) and I know at least a few were arrested for DUI’s or shoplifting (teenagers will be teenagers kind of thing from what “community” said back then).
Now that I’ve raised my children, lived SEVERAL other places, my idea of the ideal community has changed. Mayberry was awesome if you like pretend, and I’m sure there are communities like Mayberry out there, but nothing is perfect. Are we talking about a Utopian community? It doesn’t exist and it never will. So here’s my idea of the ideal community for me. (I know it’s probably the opposite of what many would want, sorry.)
I rarely speak to my neighbors. I wave. They wave. I know one of my neighbor’s by name. I prefer it that way. Maybe it would be different if I had young children who played in the neighborhood, but my children are grown. When I was growing up it was very different. We knew almost all of our neighbors by name. They knew which set of parents I belonged to and if any of the children did something wrong you can bet that a call to the parents was going to be made. But I prefer to be away from people. I like my privacy and to me the ideal community would be my home on at least one acre of land–I don’t want to hear my neighbor when they pull up in their driveway, nor do I want to hear them if they’re outside barbecuing or having a birthday party, or whatever. I don’t want my neighbors to hear us when Mr. Rockstar has people over and they’re all playing guitars and singing by the fire (and having a few beers). I don’t want them watching me as I hang clothes on the line or when I’m sunbathing in my yard, or eventually swimming in the pool we will one day get. Currently, in order to prevent some of that we could build a privacy fence.
Now my parents home is set up away from their neighbors, but they do have neighbors. My aunt lives within walking distance to my parents, so does a cousin, but it’s more convenient to drive a 4-wheeler over to visit than it is to walk. My parents have about 14 acres, their front yard is about an acre, then the house, then to the side are quite a few of their acres and to the back are a few. You can barely see their house from the road. I like that. My dad bought it because of its privacy, because of the acreage, and because he’d be close to family. There are quite a few family members living right down the road from each other in my parents neighborhood. To them, it’s a community of family with a few others thrown in the mix.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’d be more than happy to live close to family–within walking distance, but I don’t want anyone right next door. Those cookie cutter neighborhoods where all the houses look the same and you reach from your window and almost touch your neighbor’s home is not the kind of neighborhood for me. I don’t want anyone within “hollering” distance of me. (Yes, I’m from the South,lol!) If I were single, without any children or a significant other, completely alone, I might want to live in an apartment complex in the middle of everything–within walking distance of the library, coffee shop, bookstore, deli or cafe, retail stores, and pizza joint. I’d probably love it, but I’d miss the greenery, the fresh air, the quiet….I’ve lived in the city in an apartment and I loved being close to everything but I hated the noise and the crowds and the lack of privacy.
So my community would definitely have to be one built on privacy, peace and quiet, and we’d all have to share those values.
Thanks to the Daily Prompt Idyllic …Check out some of the other posts in regard to this prompt.
- Utopia! Mytopia, Yourtopia or Theirtopia? (Daily Prompt) (promptqueen.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: The Ideal Community (creativemysteries.net)
- Home (paulscribbles.wordpress.com)
- Idyllic (adityaviyer.com)
- Daily Prompt; Idyllic (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Perfectville – A Daily Prompt Post (edwardhotspur.wordpress.com)
- Community thing (spunkywayfarer.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Idyllic Community (layedbacklife.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Idyllic (cognitivereflection.wordpress.com)