It is far too common an occurrence in the world today, for people to automatically categorize, label and divide each other, than it is to search out common ground and open a meaningful dialog. We called it “Discussin’ without the cussin’” when I was a kid, though the subtle and nuanced humor of the distinctly Southern vernacular may in itself put some people off these days.
Such a habit of “preaching to the choir” and seeking out “positive reinforcement” of ideologies only from like-minded people may work fine in the more densely populated urban setting … or in “civilized society” if you will … though I hardly find much about society to be anything even remotely resembling “civilized” these days.
However, when people are living off the grid, it is not necessarily imperative, but certainly beneficial to seek out common ground with those like minded people who happen to be building in the same general vicinity, even if they may not seem totally like-minded in the beginning.
There will always be the grumpy old curmudgeon like me, who does not particularly relish human companionship, though even I have been known to accept visitors on certain occasions. However, if someone wishes to come on to my homestead and preach to me about the need to see everything their way, and that seems to believe that compromise means “you have to agree with me one hundred percent”, those people can rightfully expect to wear out their welcome within the first few minutes.
However, there are a great many people whom I am proud to consider my friends, who have decidedly different views on a great many subjects, though in the case of our homesteads, we share concepts and exchange ideas based initially on our common ground, and moving out from there, discussin’ without the cussin’ part.
There is a growing number of homesteaders comprised of people seeking to live a more organic and natural lifestyle off the grid. While I certainly make no pretenses about having no desire to become a vegan, if that is the lifestyle that someone else wishes to pursue, I am more than happy for them … just so long as they are not insisting that I change my way of life to suit their needs.
In such cases, I am more than happy to share my personal knowledge regarding vertical farming techniques, the creation of natural ecosystems containing little more than food-bearing plants … also known as food forests, and even pumping up the levels of carbon dioxide into the greenhouse to stimulate plant growth … much to the chagrin of some climate change alarmists that happen to be among this group of people.
If one food forest will feed a hundred people, how many more will two feed? If there is a surplus of goods so great on my property that I could not reasonably can and consume it all, why should I not be willing to share with other souls whose growth may not be quite so developed yet?
I have among my friends, some people who are the proverbial preppers … and who often distrust the government substantially more than I do … though usually for different reasons. In my more limited world view, some of these people can be as bizarre as the Vegans and vegetarians wanting to live out in the woods without so much as a .22 among them.
Still, we share a lot in common and based on those common traits, we often get together and have some great times as well. Maybe we spend time on my rifle range, maybe we go hunting or even fishing, or maybe just sit around the homestead and grill enough beef and chicken to horrify the Vegans were they to happen by on one of these occasions.
It is a very unique thing among those who do live off the grid, and generally, all of us will tend to look out for one another, even if we do not always get along. I do not need a law to tell me that if I see a vehicle that does not belong, pull into the homestead “next door” … albeit a few miles away, though still easily visible in the high desert, that someone may very well be snooping around looking to relieve my neighbor of their possessions and wares.
As such, I am very likely to go and speak to these people, though generally keeping my sidearm holstered and my long rifle or carbine shouldered, at least in the opening of the conversation. If they do not even know the name of the neighbors, it is unlikely that they are friends, but even if they do, the neighbors will tell anyone who they send alone out to their property, that the neighbors are likely to come along and see who they are … and as such, even an informal introduction to our names if not our faces, will have been made before hand.
Virtually all of the people who live off the grid or on any kind of isolated homestead, tend to be less reliant on government and more reliant on a sense of community and belonging and dare I say it, even commonality with those living around them, even when some of their more ideological viewpoints may be diametrically opposed to one another. Both the avid hunter and the ardent environmentalist have a great love for the outdoors and a desire to keep it clean, if not pristine and rugged in nature.
Both the most prejudiced prepper and the most passive, organic “hippy” (not being sure what the modern terminology for such characters may be more commonly used in the world today) have a desire to know that when they come home, their homestead and their possessions will be where they belong, and not having been stolen simply because the neighbors chose to ignore all of the signs of something bad happening … or waited for the police to come in and handle the matter.
While I have never gone out of my way to intrude or impose my companionship on the neighbors and their respective homesteads, nor have they with I, but we have always had a strangely intimate bond with one another, and have always looked after one another, no matter how different some of our more superfluous ideologies have been and continue to be.
Perhaps one of the best things about living away from any “civilized society” is the very real sense of community among those people who do, for whatever reason, elect to live off the grid.