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Monday, June 18, 2012

A Libertarian Weekend, Well Part Of It Anyway

Saturday I was reminded about the meaning of the word "community."

From Merriam-Webster:
com·mu·ni·ty noun, often attributive \kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē\
Definition of COMMUNITY
1: a unified body of individuals: as a : state, commonwealth b : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself c : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location d : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society e : a group linked by a common policy f : a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests g : a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society
2: society at large

3a : joint ownership or participation b : common character : likeness c : social activity : fellowship d : a social state or condition
It's important to note that no where in the definition of the word 'community' is the word 'compel.' Community is a choice.

I grew up in a smallish town back when albums came with cool artwork rather than from an iTunes gift card your mom gives you on your birthday. People knew each other because xBox and Facebook hadn't been invented yet. The town is now a shell of its former self, but there are scores of people who retain the sense of community as it was taught back in the day.

To make a long and personal story a short and generic one, one of us from this community has hit upon some health issues, so other members of the community took it upon themselves to help. Their help took on the form of a full day of music and food for about 500 people. I was fortunate enough to be one of them (in the form of just showing up and enjoying the vibe) for three reasons:
  1. In a small way I got help a friend in need
  2. I got to spent some time with friends who I don't see enough of
  3. I was reminded what's most important in life, and its not politics
As a side note, this is not the first such benefit I've been privileged to take a peripheral part in in the past few years, and in a bittersweet way, it won't be the last. I know good people.

Other than the obligatory permit for the park and the fact the park existed at all (I'm not an anarchist, I'm a libertarian), government played zero function within the community as it existed Saturday afternoon. It functioned as its own separate entity of commonality, love and respect. Politics be damned, 500 came for the 1. Period.

As a political writer, this is what I am trying to communicate on a daily basis. But, snark and statistics will never take the place of a simple and humble lesson learned from the hard work of good people who care. This, my friends, is what people should expect this nation to be about.
Government assistance can never take the place of the love, respect and charity of a community. That's all libertarians like me are trying to say. Thanks to the good will of a bunch of people for reminding me about the root of the message.

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