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By Lena Butz

The times have never been better to move in an intentional ecovillage than now. While there have been ecovillages for decades, with Covid we as humans realise even more, that living in isolation and the digital world does not suit our nature. We are social animals, just as the wolves are. We cooperate and thrive in groups where we have mutual support and feel safe. In indigenous tribes this has always been known, and somehow it has been almost completely lost in the western world. We have given away our power to the government and authorities, we outsourced our responsibilities and by moving to the cities, we often don't even know who our neighbour is.

Instead of learning from life, children are sent to a one-should-fit-all school, and have to follow a curriculum, which might be of interest for some, but definitely does not fit all.

Our Elders are sent together in old-age-homes, excluding them from society. And of course, no one is to blame here, as many people have been taught that we are expected to work 9-to-5 in a company and then, there simply is no energy left after a draining day, to care for children or elders, not even for ourselves.

With the little time that is left, we hurry to the gym and the supermarket and if we are lucky to earn enough money, we might be conscious of our buying choices and choose high-quality ecological food. Unfortunately, we don't get taught in school how to plant trees or grow veggies from seeds or how to care for animals.

Outside the city, some children might be lucky and have a garden around, and parents who introduce them to where our food comes from. Very few people are familiar with the seasons and know what nature looks like in what month, what veggies and fruits grow. We drink water out of a tap, or a bottle, and send our faeces down the toilet.

When you observe nature, you will realize that all beings work in cooperation, there is no waste and that it all works in a cycle. The bird eats from the tree and poops the seed at some other place with its excrements as a fertilizer.

Ecovillages have the potential to be a solution for the addressed topics. In an ecovillage we have the possibility to work with more people towards a sustainable future. And we could not do that by ourselves.

Being self-sufficient as a single person is, in my opinion, a myth, and even as a group, it remains an idealistic goal. While you certainly can grow some veggies in your garden, as a single person, you won't be able to make your own clothing as well, preserve the seeds, build soil, produce tools and furniture, and build and maintain your house.

When we look back in human history, we have first operated in groups of hunters and gatherers and later cooperated in villages.

You might have heard the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.” In villages, we all get to feel safe and can roam around freely and let our children play outside, too. We can share parenting and caring for them, so that the mothers get to do other tasks or take a break which allows them to rest and relax.

In most cities, it is simply not possible to let your small child run around in the streets. Even we, as adults, often fear being in the streets, mainly in the night. We are frightened and with hearing only about negative things in the news, our fears are fueled over and over again. Imagine a village, where there are no cars driving between the houses, you know all your neighbours and feel safe all the time?

The time to move in an intentional ecovillage is now, because it is time for humanity to live a sustainable easy life, without draining jobs for a lifestyle that does not fulfill our human needs. It is time for us to cooperate with nature again, and cooperate with other humans and to live in honest and deep connection, instead of isolation and disconnection. Covid invites us to connect to our true nature on a deeper level than before which allows us to realize what we truly want in life, what truly matters to us.

In our hearts, we all yearn for a meaningful, passionate life connected to our core and our fellow beings. We naturally care for one another, but the pain in the world often hurts too much so that we have had to disconnect from our inherent nature. By coming back to a life in harmony and cooperation with nature and other beings, we can provide a life for the generations yet to come worth living, where they grow up in safety and love, forming beliefs about life that life is safe and joyful and that they can follow their passions and develop their inherent potential. And with having a safe and welcoming environment, everyone naturally brings forth their gifts and talents as the circumstances allow us to thrive, instead of just surviving. This makes the individual feel satisfied and at the same time the community benefits from the individual, giving meaning and purpose to his or her contribution.

In a state of being where we feel comfortable and nourished we naturally care for one another and other beings, so that we also become compassionate about the earth. In an ecovillage these qualities make the people stewards of the land. Living in an ecovillage provides the opportunity for us to thrive as humans and reconnect to ourselves and we are overdue.

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