Community money

November 30, 2004

A round of applause to Hertz, Avis and Budget rental cars for boosting the spirits of the Roaring Beach community.

Let me explain…

Most Americans and Australians talk proudly of the rugged individual, the pioneer, the explorer and settler and will defend vigourously the rights of the individual over those of the community.

I, for one, honour those single minded individuals that never bow down to officious, meaningless,bureaucratic regulations, never accept on blind faith religious dogma and never succumb to those dumb tribal flag waving loyalties often seen at political gatherings or sport arenas. I honour those that thumb their noses at convention or what is considered “proper”. I honour those who understand through tough experience what Nietzsche meant when he wrote:

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.”

On the other hand, I also strongly believe that beyond the three generally assumed necessities of food, clothing and shelter, there is the important fourth necessity: community.

How many suburban people have looked over their fortress backyard fences and talked with their neighbours recently? How many urban people consistently climb the flight of stairs in their apartments to socialise with someone two floors up?

Why, with all our material wealth and toys, are there so many lonely people?

Living in community and living with respect for the well being of the greater community is one key for remaining a happy individual.

If we could just accept the interdependence of all life on this earth, this just might allow for the maturing of the raw, brash, arrogant individual into a more compassionate, loving and tolerant individual capable of maintaining their unique creativeness whilst also joining in the tribe’s songs and dances.

Here at Roaring Beach, I desire a certain level of social cohesion to exist between all the neighbours. Call it “unity in diversity” or “diversity in unity”. It does, however, take an effort to keep any community active and flowing.

And here is where Hertz, Avis and Budget car rental firms play a part.

windgrove signWhen tourists to Tasmania drive around in their rental cars, a few of them venture down the Roaring Beach Road looking for the “eccentric Yank with the eternal flame and Peace Walk”. When they enter onto the Windgrove property they read a nicely worded sign that asks for donations to help support the garden, the centre and….. the Roaring Beach community.

This past weekend I used one third of this donated money collected over the past year to hire the gypsy musicians, Czardas, and to cook pizzas for around 40 adults and children.

czardasczardas feetIt was fantastic. I had hoped to take a photo of the event, but got caught up rolling out pizza dough while the band played and the opportunity to capture something on film got lost in a cloud of flour dust, pepperoni, mushrooms, laughter and excellent fiddle, guitar and accordion playing by Marjorie, Steve and Erin.

Great music from talented individuals, good food, a modicum of intoxicants, meaningful conversation and lots of fun provided for a memorable evening that brought our community together for this night and will help keep it together into the future.

All of us here are strong characters. It is a delight to be among such unique folk.


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