In a multiple choice world, choosing to stay
We live in the most mobile society EVER… the economic crisis and recession that began in 2008 has seen the most stable our society has been since before WWII. AND a huge increase in shared living arrangements, including multi-generational houses, including adults with parents, or parents with adult children.
I think it is great! Sure, I acknowledge self definition and all that goes with it – but I also support shared life and the iron on iron it forces – not popular in our individualistic society. It’s great for us – helps us become better people, forces us to be known and challenged and loved unconditionally. It forces community.
Counselors tell us that if we had community like that we’d need less than 20% of the counselors and mental health workers we have today…and that is what they admit to the threat of their own profession.
Some learning we have in Communitas (an order incarnating Christ to people beyond the reach of the church, and 2d order to InnerCHANGE, part of CRM) is that our consumer society is not accustomed to commitment, nor to being able to well discern better from good, and best from better, and when we do decide, we want to maintain the option to choose over again when something better comes along.
Ever ask if maybe God doesn’t want you to take the promotion? Possibly what’s best for you, for your family, is to stay put, not have a higher position, more money, but the rich foundation of relationships committed and lasting, through thick and thin? We live in New Orléans. Most cities would have died having experienced what our city has – yet it continues to rebuild – even better than before – a people committed together. Why? It has a unique culture that binds us as a people – who stay, who’s families stay, who’s daughters who marry away – always drag them home. Staying power is powerful.
A friend, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, wrote a book called the Wisdom of Stability. I recommend it. In our learning, we have come to appreciate his message tremendously and have incorporated it into our formation process, as so many of our proselytes have that American cultural DNA for freedom, moving, multiple choice and lack muscle in commitment and investing, staying, digging in and having relationships that grow roots.
If you can – buy local. You may pay $1-2 more, but 55% stays in your community, whereas buying it through a corporate monster takes almost every cent away from your community!