Ron Collins,

You put this much better than I could and I absolutely agree.

Community, which begins with family, has been under assault in America for as long as I can remember. In many, if not most, places it is gone. I have seen that happen in my own small town over fifty years.

I lived in Lancaster County (still not far from here) for 20 years. Even as the county has been overwhelmed by development, both the Amish and Mennonites have remained, kept their identity, and thrived. They have managed this through self-help and mutual association.

They are not without flaws. Just humans, trying to live as they wish.

But they like their way of life and want it to survive. So they do what’s necessary.

They have also adapted to change. It used to be each family bought a farm for each son. Land in Lancaster has become so expensive that is no longer possible.

So they have become small, free enterprise businessmen, usually family based. They do a lot of construction. They build and sell about anything you can make out of wood. They are widely known for their work ethic and the quality of their goods and services. Their work is their advertising.

They never go to banks. They finance each other. They call on each other for physical help when necessary. They get it and stand ready to give it back.

All this at a time when few in my small town, even know their neighbors' names anymore.

They are an excellent example of what has been lost and how it might be revitalized.

Free individuals need real communities to thrive and real communities can’t exist without free individuals.

Honor, respect, responsibility, and dignity are words rarely heard anymore, and suspect when they are. Sad. I don’t know how all this ends, but it is good to know that alternatives exist.

Honorary Schizophrenic. Recent refugee. Displaced person. Old white male. Confidant of cassowaries.

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