What has happened to sharing? It seems we are all messed up on the topic. We have over-sharing, under-sharing, boundary violations that distort sharing, and all sorts of behavior that mucks up the possibilities of a natural way of community. That may sound harsh; after all so many people get up every day despite all of our turmoil to do their part to make life work. We are lucky that so many people have such faith.
It seems to me that we have left community to the individual. Community has developed in some places but in many others, not so much. As a result, many people feel like they are hanging out there, on their own, without any support at all. It would be helpful if we talked about it.
Local Is Important
Sharing presupposed something in common. It used to be that work, family, and community were all local, and so sharing of the concerns of living was a natural part of the lived experience. Working together, as the image shows, was common. Men and women also worked together on family farms and perhaps in a family store. All of the issues of living were shared. Early human societies were smaller, so this arrangement was effective. That has obviously changed as our numbers have increased.
In a community where everyone lives and works together about all facets of life, the interdependence of the people is recognized and honored. There is a directness to this way of living and along with the ability to address local problems locally by the people living in the situation and, therefore, with the greatest amount of knowledge about what is going on.
How We Lost Sharing
With the Industrial Revolution, factories, and mass production, a separation between family and work became the norm. Big and complex business organizations needed larger (and more distant) management structures to handle the intricacies of these organizations. Individuals and families became dependent on businesses for their supplies for living, from food to transportation, and also for their livelihoods. They lost influence over their own lives as the business sector increasingly became protected because of the stability they provided by creating jobs.
Whatever stability was gained was offset by the disconnection the market-based system created. Despite the wonderful goods we have received from our modern system, many people feel unease, and loss of their connection with others and nature, justifiably so.
Joy Reclaims Healthy Sharing
We cannot expect government to create the local communities we need. If we are to regain control over our lives, we have to develop the kind of personal sovereignty that makes that possible. That is what a joy practice helps us do. When we shift our focus to creating joy as an intention and practice, we learn how better how to live in a world of reasonable limits and healthy sharing. Top-down authoritarian structures of the past are on their way out despite all the noise they are creating right now. They are no longer viable because they are no longer sustainable.
Because we have to rebalance how we live to align more with the limits of Earth, we will have to shift how we think and live to make that possible and still make life worthwhile. It is possible with the joy practice which we offer at the Magic Of Joy. Life does not have to be miserable just because we have to rein in our consumption. In fact, it may actually free us to do more of what we all want – to enjoy life and enjoy other people.
Note: originally published on magicofjoy.com