We like to put our rugged individualism on a pedestal in this country, but there’s a lot of comfort and security in a community. Just knowing others are there and have your back if things go awry. I’ve experienced this over and over in the farmers market community. Everyone is happy to help everyone else with the inevitable problems (running short of change, or bags, etc.) and even the unexpected problems like when we had a flat tire and our spare wouldn’t descend and Za lent us his spare tire so we would get our van to the mechanic! We’re constantly helping each other with tents, jumping dead car batteries, squeezing this way and that to make us all fit in. It’s the perfect example of the benefits of community.
The instinct to build community is in our bones. It’s the reasons our ancestors succeeded in passing along their genes to us and we know it. So we gather, break bread together, celebrate birthdays and holidays, mourn together, solve problems together, and just generally help each other. Because we know community is more important than our political differences, our religious differences, differences in appearance, any differences. Community is how we thrive in the best of times, and survive in the worst of times.