A lot of us seem to think that we need to learn every skill. We should be able to Track, Hunt, Flint Knapp, Basket weave, Tan Hides, Hunt, trap, Make Medicine, Forage, Make friction fire, Lead a group, heal the sick, and bear children. I think we all need to take a moment, step back, take a deep breath, and realize that at no time in human history is there any evidence of large numbers of solitary people. We are now and have always been a herd animal, a social species. We need other people, we need a community. I’m not saying don’t try to learn as many skills as possible. I do all of the things that I listed above (except bear children), but the trade-off that I have made by doing all of these things is that I am not an expert at any of them. I am pretty damn good at a few, but by no means an expert. That is why there are 3 of us at Future Necessities, because together, we can do more, and do it better.
In a village setting, in a hunter gatherer colony, the hunters would probably not be making their own bows and arrows, they need to spend their time hunting to produce food for the community. I’d wager that a good archaic hunter, could probably manage to make a serviceable bow, but there was probably the one guy in his village who made the best bows, and everybody wanted one. Sound Familiar? If we spread our skill sets throughout a group and use our individual skills as a means of providing for the group then we are creating something. Something big. A community, a family. That is what humans need to do to thrive, to be happy, and be essentially human. If you watch the History Channel show “Alone” You will see that after the first few people leave in each season, that those who remain don’t really seem to have any trouble with the skills. They make fires, they boil water, they find food, etc..etc…. It is the solitude, the loneliness that gets them. This seems to be the downfall of all of these skilled people.
Today, we have created a society that does not work well for people.We intentionally separate ourselves from our communities, and our families. We sit next to our loved ones and look at Facebook. We text our friends who are in the same building. Our surroundings consist of strangers, I do not know most of my neighbors, and I live in a neighborhood. In my neighborhood, my wife and I are the only people who seem to ever go outside. We have fires and we garden, and we sit in our yard and enjoy life. My neighbors seem to only go outside to get into their cars. And we wonder there is so much mental illness, depression, homelessness and Crime. Our people are seeking meaning, they are seeking a place to belong.
That is where the old ways become so necessary. Everyone has a place, a meaning, and a sense of self-worth. The people follow leaders, not because they are told to, but because this one is leading us in a direction that we like. Everyone is cared for, everyone contributes. I believe that we can bring our society to a place of caring, of looking beyond our front doors. We need healthy communities not more money. We need to take care of our families and our neighbors, and we need to all work together to create a life that works well for people. Trade skills and services for goods whenever possible. Don’t use money unless you have to. Produce your own food and goods as much as you can. Work together with your neighbors to make everyone has enough.
This is how we save the world. The earth isn’t going anywhere, it is us that needs saving.