Live in Your Community

I hate the idea today of the so-called “commute”. It is awful, isn’t it? But commuting is something every fool does these days.

Why? What is the appeal of living 40 miles from where one works? What ever happened to building up one’s own community and being proud of it? I say everyone should either move to where they work or find a place to work near their home. Commuting is a waste of time. Commuting is a waste of fuel. It causes jams in the streets and highways. Of course I’m little old fashioned and so I find moving simply for the purpose of employment to be vulgar. Best to stay where you were born. Only the lowest people travel from here to there in search of work. You can leave town for university or to visit family or friends. You can leave town for war or for some other public office. But those are the exceptions as far as I am concerned.

I would like to see everyone try something. Try to live, work and buy only within your own postal code. This is not to be mistaken with the societal movement today to buy only from small, independent shops or restaurants. That is too much of a stretch at the moment. The Waltons’ Market and the McDonald’s restaurants were once small and independent businesses. After all, the goal of every small merchant or restaurateur is to be so successful that they expand into markets all over the world. Yes? So forget about that.

No; make your geographical location the basis of where you do your purchases and live your life. “Swimming” in your own postal code will teach you a great deal about the community in which you live. It may even teach you a lot about yourself. Do you live in the provincial outskirts of the suburban sprawl? Do you live in the ranch-style suburbs that followed the Second Great War, or the craftsman and revival suburbs that followed the First Great War? Are you in the bustling district of commerce or in an urban cultural center? There might be a preponderance of liturgical-type churches, which tend to be ethnically-based. Roman Catholic churches means Italians, Polish, Latinos or Irish. “Episcopalian” refers to English people. Lutheran means Germans or Scandinavians. And these are only the Christian denominations. But then there are economic factors. If the haberdasheries in your postal code are limited to a Wal-Mart, a Tractor Supply shop, the local golfing club and a few women’s boutiques, then that is your region’s local style. Embrace that. When the Macy’s company decides to build a shop where you are, then you can start outfitting yourself there. Until then, live your community’s lifestyle. The jobs available to you locally will teach you a great deal about your own social class as well. Notice that I didn’t say economic class. I said social class. You may have a large salary paid by the company to which you commute 80 miles total every day. But perhaps, when confined to your own postal code, you will find you are nothing more than a short-order cook at a small restaurant. Next we have hobbies. Only find things to do that are available within your community. If you live on the fringe of the city, perhaps sailing or riding are what your postal code offers. If you live in the city, it might be clubs or the theatre for you.

My point is, people should start looking in the mirror and stop these personal delusions of grandeur. Everyone should stop trying to be something they are not. There is a practical aspect to what I’m saying. It causes less waste and less commotion. If people just followed my regimen outlined above, they might be able start walking to those place where they need to go. More people could start small businesses and open little shops again. Life would slow down. And that’s what we need right now. Everyone needs to slow down.