Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Sense of Community

Good Morning!

To me homesteading is all about becoming more self-sufficient.  It's about relying on yourself for most/all of your needs.  And then sharing what you have learned/created/grown with others. The Amish have been doing this for centuries and are masters at it.  Spurning any government help, they remain a symbol of what America used to be:  a group of communities united together, sharing both the joy of the good times and the sorrow of the bad.

But, as our faith in God has been replaced by a "faith" in our government to provide all we need we have become a lazy, obese nation of self-centered individuals who don't even know the family/people next to us.  We get up, go to work, come home, sit in our air-conditioned houses, doodle on the computer, never really seeing those who live near us.  We know longer know or care about the lives of those living around us.

We currently live on a somewhat busy highway between a small town and an even smaller town.  We are usually out gardening, mowing, taking care of our animals.  After 14 years of living here and raising our children, we have gotten to know a lot of the "old-timers" in the community.  Three of my older children have worked in the local hardware store, the heart of any small town.  One has worked as a volunteer in the county government and is now Director for the Chamber of Commerce in the town.  She knows, quite literally, everyone.  Another worked as a real estate agent/office manager for a real estate company in town for several years before moving to the larger city close by when that office was closed.  Still another works both at the hardware store and a local diner.  The ones still at home make themselves available to help others in the community with odd jobs around their places.  We have, as a family, been active in the community, usually simply as an extension of our life.  Our children play softball, football, and are active in 4H. We have held fundraisers and attended fundraisers.  We have spent countless hours in our yard sitting on the tailgate of someone's truck and just talking about life.....theirs, ours.  Since we home church with several other families, and are therefore not supporting a building, upkeep, and various other programs, we are free to use our tithe to help out our neighbors in need and other local groups whose workers we see every day.  This kind of sharing is not a natural part of my personality, but I was raised with a compassion for others and a strong sense of "the right thing".  This, and a strong sense of community are things which we have tried to teach our children.

Our lifestyle has been noticed by many as they travel the highway in front of our home.  We have earned the respect of some, the envy of others, and the ridicule of a few. 

Now, governments across the country are trying to take over the lives of those wishing only to be left alone and provide for themselves.  Their reason:  independents are hard to control.  It is only by making us dependent on the government for everything that they can seek to control us.  The fact that most of their tactics are unconstitutional doesn't faze them.  After all, they have the current President as an example of how to work around that document and the Congress set to balance their power.  But, this powerplay is nothing unusual.  Our government has been occupied by greedy, corrupt individuals since its creation.  What is different is the willingness of our fellow countrymen to stand by and allow this powerplay to go unchecked.  The lack of community and subsequent desensitization has taken its toll.  We no longer care what is happening to others across the land, as long as it doesn't interfere in our lives.  As long as the government continues to see that we have water and food and healthcare, etc., we don't care that they are stripping others of their property and their rights.  As long as we can continue to get our daily facebook fix and pass along the latest twitter by some useless Hollywood idol, we are content.  We can ignore the plight of those who are being kicked off their property by local governments because of future development plans, those who are being jailed for storing rainwater on their property and providing unprocessed food for consumers hungry for the real thing. and those who choose to live without government assistance.

But you can do something.  Get the word out.  Share these stories on facebook and twitter.  Donate to people who can help those being threatened, such as the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.  Write letters to your congressmen.  Call them.  Actually get involved.  It is only by increasing the pressure on these governments that we can change the road we are headed down.  And always remember, just because you may not be a homesteader or a prepper or a constitutionalist or an independent spirit, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't help protect them.

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. 


Pastor Niemoller

 May Yahweh bless you in this new day!

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