Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Community

Institutions can fail; especially bureaucratic institutions. When disasters occur, we all need to be prepared. Waiting for the government to take care of us is not the answer; especially in the short-term. As we've seen bureaucracies can be slow to respond, and are rarely models of efficiency. While we should endeavor to improve our institutions, we also must look to ourselves, and our communities in times of crisis. We must fend for ourselves (as individuals and as communal groups) until the cavalry arrives.

Cicero looks at this idea of community:
Communities aren'’t elected at the polls. They aren'’t created by city planners, or run by unseen bureaucrats. Communities are composed of people, each committed to each others' welfare and by extension, their own. Strong communities are comprised of people with different talents and strengths whose bonds of trust amplify their durability in a dangerous world. Communities share a common survival interest, among other things.
He concludes:
America'’s greatness -— and humanity'’s, for that matter-was never defined by institutions. It was defined by people-by the bold, the creative, and the loving; by the giving, the adamant and the humorous. By us. If culture has become only a pretty thing that is stripped away from community, it doesn'’t earn preservation. History is full of rich cultures that didn'’t survive. If all we have built are museums and amusement parks where culture is just a theme and communities are lifestyle choices, we must find ourselves again. All of us.