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A Story of the Future

Let’s face it, none of us know what the future holds, but we can take educated stabs in the dark. Lately, I’ve been meditating on what it could be like for our society should we continue on our current trajectory. So I thought it would be fun to take a journey into the future with a thought experiment to see what a potential hereafter could be. It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway—I’m making this up as I go; I’m sure some of it will sound idealized or possibly even bat-shit crazy. So put your cell phone on silent and pull up a chair; the show’s about to begin.

Community living is the way of the future

The year is 2350, and life goes on as it always has. I was in the town book room the other day, reading about what life was like in the past. It seems strange that people who had so much at their fingertips squandered their fortune. I read about millionaires and billionaires. I have no concept of what those words mean other than what seems to be greed. You see, we do everything as a community. Of course, we have our struggles, but without the help of everyone, we wouldn’t be able to function.

We still have forms of transportation, but nothing like what was used by our ancestors in the past. Airplanes and large boats are gone at this point. The decline of those forms of transportation began around 300 years ago. The world was running out of precious fuel to make the machines work, but they didn’t let that stop them. I was told by an elder the other day that the people of the past flew large empty airplanes around the world just so the airline companies wouldn’t lose their airport slots. Imagine what we could have done without so much waste.

The remnants of a bygone era

Now we use electric scooters to get around to the neighboring villages. We still have some fuel, but it is only used in emergencies or to make batteries to sustain our solar energy grid. We don’t need to use a lot of electricity to travel because most of the things we need are found right in our own communities.

We live communally. In our village, we have carpenters, herbal healers, gardeners, engineers, educators, grafters, hunters, livestock farmers, beekeepers, mental healers, security, and so much more. Unfortunately, the decrease in fossil fuels made living in mega-cities impossible over the past couple hundred years. There were just too many people trying to use the resources in one place. So people migrated to smaller communities based on cooperation.

It hasn’t always been easy. For the longest time, our ancestors resisted the changes already taking place around them. They quarreled about things that didn’t make much of a difference in the long run. In our community, everyone is treated with respect and dignity. Our crime is low because it is not tolerated. Usually, there is re-education for a first-time offense as long as it isn’t something too grievous. The community tries to teach that you can build yourself up to be a better person, but if there is a second offense, usually the punishment is banishment.

In our society today, being part of a community is the only way to guarantee your survival because we depend on everyone to do their part in helping the community succeed. If there is a rotten apple amongst the bushel, it is thrown away—that type of thinking is the same for recidivists (habitual criminal). They drain the system and are not compatible with living in the community.

Everyone has a say

What crime is defined as offenses committed against another person causing harm. There is no safety net for people to continue committing offenses against their community members. Each person is responsible for his or her actions. Once a person crosses the boundary into another person's property (personal, property, loved ones) then the offending member is subsequently held accountable by the elected leaders.

Even if it’s a first offense, the punishment is death for more severe crimes. It used to be sad to me when someone was executed, but as I’ve gotten older, I see that it is for the betterment of the community. We can’t tolerate those who go against the moral good to pursue their own selfish needs. Like a disease, we rid the world of its presence so that others may live in peace.

Our clothing is plain compared to the pictures I’ve seen of the past. We don’t have closets full of fancy clothes because that is a waste of resources. I have two outfits for working and two for special events. I don’t think anyone minds it too much. We are working with what we have, and we feel fortunate to have our belongings. Also, it helps with not having to do such huge loads of laundry. I couldn’t imagine having to wash so many clothes all of the time when it’s so much easier to have a couple of sets of clothing.

Just enough

The council oversees our community. The council members serve for four years, and then they are barred from ever serving again. We looked again to our ancestors to show us a better way of setting up our government system. To think that some people of the past spent their entire lives in politics with nothing to show for it is an astounding prospect to think about. To avoid corruption of the elected officials, they are not allowed to campaign; instead, the outgoing council selects the best of the community to continue the tradition of strong leadership. No bribes are permitted, enabling a much more honest system.

The council only meets in public, and they have a certain amount of time to discuss matters before they are required to submit their decision. The community members are allowed and encouraged to share their views with the council at their meetings so that everyone has the chance to have their opinions heard. It’s not always polite, but matters are taken care of quickly, and the council’s word is final.

One of the primary reasons for the downfall of our ancestors was how far they strayed from God. We’ve read their bible, but it has been updated many times over the years to include new insights and ways of truly living in the spirit of the lord. Religion is not mandatory for the community, but most have a connection to God. Without His presence, we’d feel quite lonely. A significant change in the practice of our spirituality is we don’t go to buildings to pray together anymore. We meet at neighbor's houses to have Bible study. We pray as we walk around the community, as we do our daily work, as we wash our faces, as we laugh at jokes, and as we eat our food.

Pray wherever you are

The idea of only being able to speak to God behind closed doors and with a holy man at the front of the room blew away with the crumbling of our former society. Now we worship by helping each other, forgiving transgression, loving when it is earned, and respecting everyone no matter who they are. It’s refreshing to me that we know we can depend on the people who are around us. We are never along because we provide for ourselves with the help of God.

Another fascinating change is how we teach our young compared to how it was done in the past. We have educators in the community to help our young learn how to read, write, and arithmetic. The children spend a few hours in the morning doing their studies with their teachers, break for lunch, and then the afternoon is spent on skills building. The children learn about making tools from their resources, cooking, seed saving fundamentals, medicinal herbs cultivation and application, carpentry, water collection methods, hunting, and many other critical topics. This allows the young to learn the foundation of education while building essential skills for the survival of our community. Before dinner, the kids get some time for any activity they want to do in their free time. It’s wonderful hearing the kids running through the fields enjoying themselves after a long day learning.

No public indoctrination camp here

Speaking of children—the community helps to raise the children together. If a family looks like they are struggling to keep up, there are plenty of helping hands ready to jump in and lend some assistance. If a parent just needs some time to themselves, they feel comfortable letting someone else in the village watch their young ones for an afternoon. Everyone wishes for help every once and a while, and the people around us are who we lean on in those moments of need.

Our homes are tiny compared to those in the past. We heat them with wood, so having a large house just doesn't make any sense. They are as big as we need them to be and nothing more. A lot of our time is spent outside and working in the community, so the houses aren't anything fancy. They are quaint and warm. We have lights from solar energy and running water using a pressure tank system. It's nice to come home after a long day of work and throw your feet up by the fire.

We live simply as I think things were meant to be. Of course, we have our issues, but we get through them together. We’ve had droughts, floods, and other natural disasters—but we lean on our fellow community members and help to rebuild. If a new couple needs to build a home, the community schedules a few days to help make it together. We also lookout for those who cannot take care of themselves. Our elderly, who worked their lives to better the community, are taken care of by everyone else.

Our community is not perfect, and there are thousands of other communities out there who do things differently than we do, but it works for us. Our strife is little because we’ve learned that fighting and arguing are incompatible with a resilient life. We settle our differences as we do everything else—as a community. Well, I should get going; we are celebrating the birth of a newborn and the marriage of a young couple tonight. The air is warm, and I can smell a fresh apple pie that’s calling my name.

Take a moment and enjoy being apart of this world

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