My Community Commonwealth
The commonwealth of a community is always present but seldom pondered. It is the collective assets that are available to everyone within that community, regardless of economic status or ethnic background. Commonwealth is indigenous, either by natural landscape or human culture. It must be maintained, for even though it is available to everyone, it can be exhausted. Ironically, the larger the community, the harder the commonwealth is to recognize. A large city, for example, may have millions of services and products available; but for a price. Where do these things come from and how do they get here? When the things are thought about, one realizes that a city survives by consuming the commonwealth of the surrounding area, digesting it and putting it up for sale. This is not bad, it is great marketing. We in these small rural communities must decide what we give up to the Great Machine, and what we invest ourselves in to survive.
I myself had a hard time identifying the commonwealth of my community. First, I had to define my community. I like to say “ I am a life form on planet Earth, and every other life-form is a part of my community.” This give me a sense of responsibility for the entire planet! This is too much so lets narrow it down to only humans. Still this instills a responsibility to lean about every culture and way of life with respect. My national community, the United States, says that my own happiness and financial well-being is my greatest responsibility. My state of New Mexico is another community I am a part of. Then there is the town of Taos, New Mexico with its rich and diverse history that goes back over 500 years and tells a beautiful story of blending cultures who learned to respect one another. My tribal community of Taos Pueblo is like another world with a history thousands of years old. So, diversity is the greatest asset of my community, no matter which one.