The Importance of Community
What do we value?
We had a power outage that started on Wednesday night, two nights ago. SDG&E conducted a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) shutting down power for 73,000 residents, including our entire neighborhood here. The Santa Ana winds reached Category 1 hurricane levels, so I’m glad they did.
My kids immediately took the cars the next morning and bailed to their friends’ homes that still had power so they could continue their schoolwork, and last night, my wife and I were sitting in an empty house having dinner by candlelight.
“This is romantic,” I say. “This is depressing,” she says.
Recently, I’ve been working from home so transitioned to using my desktop PC, and my daughter commandeered my MacBook Pro for school one day, so I was completely without any connected device besides my iPhone. By last night, my phone was almost dead. My last fading connection to the outside world was about to go out.
My son came home to grab his overnight bag so he could sleep over at a friend’s place and texted me, “Someone on the corner offering to charge phones and laptops for free. Corner house. With chickens.”
I knew the house and went out there to charge my phone. The eldest son had volunteered to set up a charging station using their generator. People stopped by to charge and pick up their phones, or just comment how awesome it was that they were doing that. I ended up sitting for an hour in the cold night and reconnecting with our neighbors that we met almost two decades ago when we first moved into this neighborhood. With the generator noises running in the background, it felt very much like a Burning Man moment.
I learned that they are planning to sell the house, downsize and move to a different area in San Diego. Our neighborhood is highly valued because of the very strong school districts here, and they like us, have kids finishing up high school, so it is a good time to re-evaluate.
Community is important. It exists on all layers of society. Many people have lost everything and are still building community and figuring it out. It’s a difficult time for many people. The struggle is real. I have friends that are thriving and also many friends that are suffering.
The future of communities, the future of cities, the future of work are all in transition.
The Pandemic has revealed a lot about our ways of life, and there is an opportunity to rethink things. I’m pretty excited for the future.
Day 4: Invisible People #GivingChristmas