Monday, December 1, 2014

Working in our Living Communities

When I've read books over the years, "Community" usually refers to the Heathen community. When I talk about the "living community", I'm talking about our communities that...well...we live in. Why do I put so much importance on living community, when my focus should be Heathen? It's simple, really.

It's because my family lives here, and my tribe lives in this region. When I invite folks from out of state to visit, or I invite my tribe over, I want to make sure that they're not worrying about anything. Where I'm originally from, in the coal fields of southern West Virginia, it's a dangerous place. You constantly have to worry about people stealing your stuff, just about everyone has a gun, but not for defense, there's drugs everywhere, and as Robert Taylor put it the first time he met me, "I've never heard of that it one of those places where people just disappear?"

I've had friends killed there, and the cops would come and take crime scene photos, and leave again. Rarely did they ever come down my way. So, when we got flooded and had no choice but to move the family to my uncle's about an hour and something away, I figured we'd get looted. It wasn't from strangers was from people I grew up with and knew well. With just my mom and myself working on two houses, we couldn't just get everything out all at once. So, it happened pretty fast when they started. So, you grow up with the mentality that if something happens, I don't call anyone (because who can you trust to take of the bad stuff in a place where no one cares?), and I just take care of it myself, and fix the situation.

That's what I think we should strive to do in a lot of ways. Especially with taking care of our living communities. We spend a lot of time talking about taking care of our own, but we don't. Our Verterns, elderly, and children tend to be left in societies ditch, so that some super church can send a bunch of upper class hipsters to a country in South America to build churches and spread the word of their god. We spend a lot of time talking about taking care of our own....when did the meaning of that change?

So, the idea is that my family is in this living community, and my tribe is in neighboring areas in the region. So, to give back to my family/tribe, or to try to make my community a good place for my family and tribe to flourish, then I need to take care of my community and be active. This gives back to the living communities, and our folk that live in those communities.

Many Heathens already do some form of charity work, either through animal shelters, homeless shelters, volunteering with cleaning the area, donating, etc. There's numerous ways to help. For me personally, I've tried to talk to folks when I go out, and get a feel for what's going on in the area. Something as small as me helping a little elderly couple with their groceries, can open a door to them coming to me if they see me out and need help. Making connections with folks is also a great way to get the facts out about Heathenry, not by fanatical preaching, but by showing that you're not some nut that the media usually shows.Showing that you're a good person, and that you're willing to help, is a good start for not just you and the other folks involved, but for Heathenry, as it opens a line of communication.

Other things you can do in the way of donating:
  • If you get another deer, and have more meat than you need, then you can donate the meat to a local homeless shelter. There's places that will fix it up for you, so that you don't have to.
  • You can donate to food and toy drives.
  • In Spring, you can attend these clearance sales, and stock up on coats, hats, gloves, etc... By next year, around October, you can donate those. Sometimes the State Police will take them, other times, you may be able to get a hold of a local place, or group, to give them out. If you're wanting to do more, you can host an event to gather up more things and donate.
  • You can stock up on school supplies (often times you can go to the dollar store and get a lot of stuff, and during those clearance sales, you can sometimes find backpacks for cheap), and donate those in July or August. 
  • You can donate your time with hospitals, shelters, etc...
 Our living communities are important to our folk, because it's what surrounds our folk. We want our kin and kith to be safe and healthy. These are just a few ways that can help with the environment we're in.

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