In the Age’s magazine, I came across this article about neighborhood, community, and recent conflicts from objectification of the people closest to you (closest geographically of course). It was reassuring to read of these issues surfacing in other western cultures and to find a return to the ultimate question of loving one another. In reflecting on this piece, even from a distance I celebrate what God is doing in our midst in Lexington, Kentucky. Here are some bits:
“’When people lived in smaller communities, they really got to know the reputation of people in their area. But in mass society, we meet hundreds of people in all different contexts.’ And that, he concludes, means we’re less likely to build relationships in our local area. Ironically, it seems that as our cities get fuller, and neigbours live closer together than ever before, socially we’re moving farther apart.
Australian social researcher and author Hugh Mackay argues that ‘feeling as if we’re members of a community is the prerequisite for accepting some responsibility for each other’s wellbeing.’ He urges us to start taking social responsibility for our communities and not just ourselves. ‘It’s not about trying to change the world, just a few of our attitudes.’ Ultimately, he’s optimistic and believes ‘the tide may be starting to turn. We’re essentially herd animals and the desire and the desire to feel part of the herd is very basic.’”