I fielded a call from a wonderful middle school student from Ohio; doing research on Utopian societies for a project. It got me thinking… are we Utopia?
Have you ever lived, learned, worked, and managed with another person? 23 other people? We do it everyday, and to say that no one’s feelings never get hurt or that conflict never arises is… a hopeful future, at best. But we value open and honest communication and with no where to hide, problems are met head on.
Acorn is bulging at the seams with people. I heard one member say today “the thing about having this many people around means there’s always someone in the bathroom”. Ain’t it the truth. Not only are nearly all of our rooms full, but it’s getting too be cold outside so we’re all seeking refuge in heated common buildings. As the busy season kicks off with the creation of the new seed catalog, the space may seem to be shrinking.
But if that’s the worst of our problems, maybe we are closing in on Utopia. We share the income that the business generates along with all the chores (business and domestic). We value all work equally (1 hour of work= 1 hour of work). I’ve been thinking of this in particular lately. Many of my friends’ mothers (and many of my friends by now!) are working full time domestically, and how much stigma that holds in our society. By domestic work, I mean the work which traditionally is done at one’s home like raising children, household accounting, cleaning, cooking. etc. Does the stigma exist because this position generates no income, in a capitalist society? Is it because these types of chores have historically been done by women, thus binding them to an income-producing family member (like a husband), and creating a patriarchal hierarchy? Ideally, a community would come together and treat each person equally. And each person would have access to the resources they need, rather than an arbitrary allotment of resources based on flawed ideals of evaluated worth. These are paradigms we are constantly breaking through, to become a more egalitarian community.
Furthermore, when living with so many people there is definitely buying power. What I mean is, we buy everything in bulk, from soap to cheese. Which means we can make our income stretch much further and we need fewer resources.
We have time here. Living in mainstream society, I never had time. Now, since I have a work quota of 6 hours a day (which includes 2 home-cooked meals and a clean living area), I find myself with plenty of time to hike or philosophize. I’m not constantly rushing around. I’m rarely late (accept sometimes to get packages to the post office). We grow or make from scratch almost all of our food. We buy or barter for local meat, produce, etc. We have apple and pear sauces right now, yummy! Not to mention Fox’s Mediterranean dinner served last night!!
Life is good. Really good. But like everything else, it’s all a state of mind. Because there can be conflict or peace in any situation. When you love your community and its members, any mountain is merely a molehill.