I’ve been thinking a little about how an egalitarian society needs to function. Two of the greatest failings of past communities that I’ve studied so far were 1) maintaining leadership as the role of a single person indefinitely, and 2) obtaining land prematurely and not on premises in line with the ideals of the community. Ergo, I have a strong desire to do things differently. While it is important that I be willing to do everything necessary to the development of the village myself, I must maintain my desire to have people strive *with* me, and not inherently below me. I am aware that there are always those who lead and those who are either not ready to lead or are content not to. The important thing is that I remember that as human beings we are fundamentally equal. I must be willing to accept that other people may have ideas just as good or better than mine, and I must strive to make the Initiative’s leadership multilateral. I also must remember to respect the different stages of interest, commitment, and practical action that people and their lives are at. One of the ways I am going to do this now is to allow people the space to stand up, without badgering. I have been learning a lot about this from Buddhism over the course of the past two years. I have a lot more to learn about leadership I know. I am grateful for the opportunities I have with the SGI that are teaching me so much that will prove useful in the future as I develop this dream into reality.
As for land, while it is an exciting and desireable aspect of a community/village which strives for self-sufficiency, the land itself is not the core or glue of a village. Unfortunately, many people have not initially realized this. A telling sign of this tendency is that so many people like to immediately ask where the village will be. Right now, as cheesy as it sounds, the village is in my heart. When others begin to share that vision and desire with me, it will begin to live in our hearts. When there is a core of people unified around the village vision, then we begin to make it a reality, by working on it and planning it together. And finally, when we have developed unity and a strong sense of community, the village will find land in a place which is most appropriate. There have been various proposals of “finding a rich friend” or getting someone to donate the land. This attitude is dangerous. As is demonstrated by the early history of the Twin Oaks community, one person who is part of owning a community can lead that person to believe he (or she) has special priviledges, especially in saying how the community is run. So although I or someone else may own property on which villagers initially live, either eventually that property should be sold in the pursuit of other land, or there should be some kind of transfer of the property to ownership by the village as a whole.
I could, perhaps elaborate on that further. But it will have to wait another day. I will be away for about 4 days, so there may not be any posts until next week. But I am intent on continuing to build a rhythm of writing daily about the village, apart from this time span.