A great article at Incharacter.org by Bill McKibben.
Weâ€™re used to independence as the prime virtue â€” so used to it that three quarters of American Christians believe the phrase â€œGod helps those who help themselvesâ€ comes from the Bible, instead of Ben Franklin. â€œLove your neighbor as yourselfâ€ is harder advice, but sweeter and more sage. We donâ€™t need to live on communes (though more and more old people are finding themselves enrolling in â€œretirement communitiesâ€ that are gray-haired, upscale versions). But we will, I think, need to figure out how to stop relying on both oil and ourselves, and instead learn the lesson that the other primates and the other human cultures never forgot: weâ€™re built to rely on each other.
I was personally struck by some of his ideas. I do happen to know my neighbors, but only the ones who live in my building. I barely even say hello to other people I see as I walk down our little residential street. And when I go to the farmer’s market? No, I don’t talk to people. But the idea that I might (especially if I were going every week) is compelling. And come to think of it, there is one vendor at the City Hall farmer’s market that I’ve talked to â€” and at a supermarket or Harvest coop, I wouldn’t do even that.
(via Arts & Letters Daily)