The Modern Neighborhood, or a Better Alternative

I consider myself a pretty against-the-grain kind of person.

Not edgy for the sake of edginess, or different for the sake of standing out. Rather, I just don’t give a damn if culture tells me I should live my life their way!

Take a moment to visualize that old board game called Life. If you’re picturing the classic game, you probably imagined some 50’s-esque styled aesthetics, a little plastic car that begins with one person, then a spouse, then two kids. A career, a race for money, college for the kids, dentures, and then you eventually die and count up the sum of your riches. Every game of Life is basically the same, and the only way to outplay your opponent is to have more money than them.

source: https://unsplash.com/photos/KJMz5Tmbw0k

We’re so used to this path of life, that we don’t even consider the idea of other paths existing. The game board only shows one path! Here’s what I mean:

Have you ever stopped to think about how strange our society really is?

Neighborhoods, for example. They’re so strange! Our country is covered in what I call “transplant communities”- families who uproot and transplant themselves into new areas where they don’t know anybody around them (and, let’s be real, it usually stays that way).

I grew up thinking that I would, of course, be one of those people for the entirety of my life. ‘No problem with that, that’s just how life works!’ It was the only way I knew.

But if you look back in history, you’ll find that this way of living- in “transplant communities”- is pretty much exclusive to the modern era.

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Hell, the Industrial Revolution alone is what really gave us the chance to spread out if we wanted to. Whereas before that, we needed to, for the most part, stay closer to our families and provide each other with resources.

Throughout all of history, people often chose to live together in village communities. In Bible times, people would usually just add more and more rooms to their houses, to accommodate for generational families as they stayed and grew up together.

Can you even imagine seeing this happen across the street?

Personally, I’m strongly against “transplant living” now. I don’t harbor any judgement towards anyone who lives this way, since this is all most of us know and ever will know. Not to mention, if you grew up in it, it can be pretty difficult to break free from, and for a number of reasons.

It’s the structure of culture as a whole that I have a problem with, not the actual people in it!

The Journey Ahead

I grew up in this lifestyle of community isolation, and my goal is to run in the opposite direction. Currently, I live with my husband and his family (two houses, same lot- my husband and I live in the “mother-in-law house”). It’s a start, but these are only our humble beginnings. Our big dream for the future is to buy some land, and build a kingdom for our family to share. We realized that our family is the most important thing we have on this earth, so why should we set ourselves up to live most of our days apart?

Also, I can’t help but bring up the fact that the Bible brings up the topic of neighbors a whole lot. If your relationship with your neighbor is so important, how come the majority of us don’t even know who our neighbors are?

Perhaps neighbors were meant to be more than just a random selection of strangers.

What do you think about “transplant communities”? How do you imagine this way of living has impacted us as a society? I would love to read your own thoughts on the topic and talk with you.

You can either comment below, or, if you prefer a more private means of communication, you can email me at:

gardenofampelos@gmail.com

I hope you have a beautiful and blessed Friday!

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