“It’s been dawning on me how much weight community engagement and social ties carry for society. The days of folkdances and storytelling round the fire. Big weddings and funerals. shared meals. Activities that just brought a community together n joyous rituals or performances.
Culture gives insight into who we are, what we value as a community and why there has been years of work to preserve those values. One way to understand yourself is to understand where you come from.
I feel like traditional societies had systems that defined and maintained their identity. I am worried that modern communities are too quick to dismiss the traditional systems of running society in the name of wokeness. Without even learning why these systems survived for so long.
Birth, marriage, work (productivity), death – That is life. A series of events that only makes sense when shared in community; because they directly contribute to, and impact it. Naturally, human beings will find each other. Baby showers, weddings and funeral WhatsApp groups.
And the big one; night club and restaurants. The only question is: how stable are our modern ways of community engagement? In modern cities, these engagements follow rules of social stratification – a function of alienated labor. It will not hold.
There still was…
There’s gotta be value in something else besides production. In traditional societies, if you were not rich you could cook at a funeral and that would be a valuable contribution. Today, if you can not afford the 7k baby shower contribution, you don’t get to celebrate the miracle of birth. If you can’t afford the 5k for drinking with friends this weekend, you might be more inclined to stay at home. You have no value in that moment.
You can bury your mother on Saturday and have to be at work on Monday. It doesn’t make any sense. We are walking around with broken families, ‘toxic’ uncles and aunties, no grandparents, no support or familiar cushions of comfort.
We are members of a society, even though we don’t know how to live with our fellow humans. We don’t know morals, or why we need some. We need to learn how to live with others. But we can’t, there’s no time. We are too busy learning how to work.
The result is definitely a very sick community. But ironically, modern people got some solutions. The 4-day work week, should free up time for people to just, people. The current campaign to consider your mental health in career etc. Let’s redefine value.”
The dark continent; a phrase of colonial legacy still relevant today. The darkness alluded to (falsely) has made it impossible for us to derive any value from the parts of our past which we still have access to. I believe there is a lot to be learnt from our roots as so beautifully put forth by Jazz Mornings.
Twitter is where I came across a thread by @jazzmornings examining the state of community today and looking back at the value community espoused in the past. I was in total agreement. Therefore, we asked and she kindly let us share her thread here on Backbenchas. Do share your thoughts.
PS: Mary, we are sorry we have not been writing as often.