Finding community is as critical as obtaining food and shelter, since the need to belong is what makes us human. The isolation and loneliness of modern life have led many people to search for deeper connection, which has resulted in a renewed interest in intentional communities. These intentional communities or ecovillages are an appealing choice for like-minded people who seek to create a family-oriented and ecologically sustainable lifestyle--a lifestyle they are unlikely to find anywhere else.
However, the notion of an intentional community can still be a tremendous leap for some--deterred perhaps by a misguided vision of eking out a hardscrabble existence with little reward. In fact, successful ecovillages thrive because of the combined skills and resources of their members.
Finding Community presents a thorough overview of ecovillages and intentional communities and offers solid advice on how to research thoroughly, visit thoughtfully, evaluate intelligently, and join gracefully. Useful considerations include:
* Important questions to ask (of members and of yourself)
* Signs of a healthy (and not-so-healthy) community
* Cost of joining (and staying)
* Common blunders to avoid
Finding Community provides intriguing possibilities to readers who are seeking a more cooperative, sustainable, and meaningful life.
Diana Leafe Christian is the author of Creating a Life Together and editor of Communities magazine. She lives at Earthhaven Ecovillage in North Carolina.