Service to your community vs work
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 14:29:52 -0700 (PDT)
RP Aditya wrote:  I do think we are on the extreme end of the
quantified/organized scale, but it is also much easier to explain and
discuss when everyone has a currency
(hours) that is universally tangible. I wish we didn't have to do all this
since it introduces an organizational overhead, and I would love to believe
that 60 adults could just make it all work on unwritten/untracked good
faith, but the examples where that works seem rare.

I have been to some communities where it all works mostly untracked or
loosely organized on good faith. And a bunch more where it does not. From
those experiences I find It can simply be a matter of personal preference
and perspective, sometimes contrasting fair, against being happy. Having
everyone work equal amounts of hours is not necessarily fair, not does it
always make people happy. Some people want to do more and then are told they
are doing too much and much stop, others want to do less and are criticized
for not doing enough. Both can end up unhappy working 22.345 hrs a month.  I
have a wife who would be delighted and happy to spend an eight hour day in
the garden, and I would be much less happy only spending one. For her it?s a
passion and joy, for me its drudgery. Yet neither of us begrudges the other
their passion or their time to it, rather we support it as we can. 

In my travels, the communities that I have witnessed that seemed to have the
happiest people and best work organizing tended to encourage people to
follow and develop their joys and passions as much as could be accommodated.
In some cases, this meant that they ended up paying outside people to do
some task they found needed but was no ones joy or passion. This seemed to
work just fine.

I find that the philosophy of service to others attracts me as a community
foundation place. My time and energy is a service I joyously give to those
who need it. And I willingly share my talents and resources with my
community. I vaguely recall a conversation once with a preacher who said to
me that he would rather pick up a shovel and do his brothers work rather
than let his brother be so unhappy.  To do so without reward, or recognition
or need for anything other than just to support and love them is in my mind,
a high achievement of community work. I have been to 2 communities where
this was the approach and when you experience it in person, it really
strikes you what an amazing potential our little tribes could have to change
our enormously self centered and damaging culture. 

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer
The Environmental Science School
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