Community or Commodity?

Have you ever met someone who refers to herself with the royal “we”?  Actually, he’s not so far off the truth.

All of us together are a community, yes, but each of us individually is a community.  Just try digesting your last pizza and beer without a balance of the trillions of bacteria in your gut.

And nature operates the same way: as a community.  Even a handful of dirt has an insane population density.  That soil has gabizzillions of microbes, all handling their little happy place – capturing carbon, breaking down pesticides, playing microbe accordion (sorry, just checking to see if you were still with me).

Contrast that idea of community with our usual operating mode: commodification.  Land and creatures to be assessed as valuable according to their use?  Check.  Usage of our time assessed according to what it returns to us?  Check.  Body itself treated as a commodity?  Check.

Huh, wait, what??!!  Yeah, well, when was the last time you said you’d get some sleep after you do whatever was on the list?  Or couldn’t take a water or movement break because the project you were in the middle of was too demanding? Or ignored pain or illness with excuses for keeping going?  Sorry, you’re busted: commodification of your body.

And that leads to some harsh truths in our greater world, as well as in our little personal corner.


Scientists may not have the answers to that problem, but that’s where our work on ourselves comes in.

A great place to start is by training your mindset back from commodification to community.

You already have various levels of community in place for your holidays, I’m sure.  Family celebrations.  Get-togethers with friends.  Community service.  Lots of possibility.  Don’t forget your body system as community, honouring its varied needs.

Where’s one more place where you can shift your relationship with nature – personal and communal (ha! Snuck in community again!) – from commodity to community this holiday season?

May the joys of recognizing your place in the complex and beautiful community of Earth, and the connections it brings you, last well beyond the immediate holidays.