Yeah, children & families. You have a beautiful challenge.
I've been mulling over children and families a lot the past few years, waiting for inspiration.
The answer, of course, is in communal living. But how to bring about sustainable, moneyless, communal living in a capitalist society that thinks "communal" means "Satan" is the big challenge!
But, if there's a will there's a way!
We first spark intense inspiration in the masses! We first spread infectious Generosity, infectious Love! Begin living communally, right now, right here where you live, within your own city, town, village, or community. Communal-ism already exists within our cities, towns, villages and communities right now. Every time you share with your neighbor, expecting no reward, and every time you receive without guilt, you live communally. Start cultivating what is already here. Start freely giving and freely receiving right now, no matter how much debt you have, no matter how much or few "possessions" you have, no matter how many dependents you have, no matter how busy or not busy you are. If not now, when?
Prepare the ground right now. When Babylon falls, you already have the foundation established!
Notice how, when tornadoes hit a town, when a hurricane, flood, or earthquake hits a city, suddenly money becomes meaningless, and people wake up and start helping each other and sharing (Yes, the greedy looters and thieves also wake up, too; but don’t worry about them. Let them run their course. Cultivate your wheat, and let the wheat and the weeds grow together).
Communalism must not be imposed politically or institutionally, from calculated programs. Not of ego works, but of Grace. It must come from natural instinct, from Love, from a Pure Heart, within. The solution cannot begin in politics and institutions, as history has taught us over and over. Was not the Soviet Union a total disaster, as bad as or worse than the regime it replaced?
If you are not religious and, understandably, you can’t handle religion, then live generously, communally, without religion (I personally know more non-religious people who practice the principles of religion than those who are religious).
But, if you are religious, starting now, please consider practicing your own religion. Please.
The genetic code that directs us to possessionless, communal living lies dormant at the heart of our very own cultures (all cultures, all world religions), at the very heart of the Spiritual Paths our cultures claim to follow! It must be awakened, revived!
Ironically, here in America, we have a population that equates “communal” with “Satan” and talks incessantly about “private property rights” as if it were Gospel, though it is as obviously far from Gospel as you can get. The very scriptures and spiritual traditions that people claim to revere and follow—yes, those scriptures, and the very foundations of our ancient spiritual traditions—are clearly communalistic. I feel in my bones that to revive this dormant genetic code, already at the heart of our culture, is the key.
Here is the Genetic Code, in the Seed, waiting to spring to Life through the Water of Love:
Now the multitude of those who believed
were of One Heart and One Soul;
neither did anyone say
that any of the things he possessed was his own,
but they had all things in common.
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
giving Credit to God and having Grace with all the people. (Act 2:44-47)
Check out what the early Church leaders said. I begin with Augustine, because, here in America, Augustine is revered (in word, anyway) by both conservative Evangelicals and Catholics:
Those who wish to make room for the Lord must find pleasure not in private, but in common property…. Redouble your charity. For, on account of the things which each one of us possesses singly, wars exist, hatreds, discords, strifes among human beings, tumults, dissensions, scandals, sins, injustices, and murders. On what account? On account of those things which each of us possesses singly. Do we fight over the things we possess in common? We inhale this air in common with others, we all see the sun in common. Blessed therefore are those who make room for the Lord, so as not to take pleasure in private property. Let us therefore abstain from the possessions of private property—or from the love of it, if we cannot abstain from possession—and let us make room for the Lord.
--Augustine (354–430 CE)
I now come to the accusation that most of us are said to be poor; that is not to our shame, it is to our great credit. Men’s characters are strengthened by stringent circumstances, just as they are dissipated by luxurious living. Besides, can a man be poor if he is free from want, if he does not covet the belongings of others, if he is rich in the possession of God? Rather, he is poor who possesses much but still craves for more.
And so it is that when a man walks along a road, the lighter he travels, the happier he is; equally, on this journey of life, a man is more blessed if he does not pant beneath a burden of riches but lightens his load by poverty. Nevertheless, we would ask God for material goods if we considered them to be of use; without a doubt, He to whom the whole belongs would be able to concede us a portion. But we prefer to hold possessions in contempt than to hoard them: it is rather innocence that is our aspiration, it is rather patience that is our entreaty; our preference is goodness, not extravagance.
--Tertullian (c. 160–c.220 CE)
You are like one occupying a place in a theater, who should prohibit others from entering, treating that as one’s own which was designed for the common use of all.
Such are the rich. Because they were first to occupy common goods, they take these goods as their own. If each one would take that which is sufficient for one’s needs, leaving what is in excess to those in distress, no one would be rich, no one poor.
--Basil (329–379 CE)
Now, check out America’s very own, home-grown religion:
The Mormon Genetic Code
And they had all things common among them;
therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free,
but they were all made free,
and partakers of the heavenly gift. . . .
There were no robbers, nor murderers,
neither were there Lamanites,
nor any manner of ‘ites;
but they were in one,
the children of Christ,
and heirs to the kingdom of God.
(Book of Mormon, 4Nephi 1:3,17)
And now, if God,
who has created you,
on whom you are dependent
for your lives
and for all that ye have and are,
doth grant unto you
whatsoever ye ask that is right,
believing that ye shall receive,
O then, how ye ought to impart
of the substance that ye have
one to another.
And if ye judge the man
who putteth up his petition to you
for your substance
that he perish not,
and condemn him
how much more
will be your condemnation
for withholding your substance,
which doth not belong to you
but to God,
to whom also your life belongeth;
and yet ye put up no petition,
nor repent of the thing
which thou hast done.
I say unto you, wo be unto that man,
for his substance
shall perish with him;
and now, I say unto those
who are rich
as pertaining to the things of this world.
I'm speaking from my own culture, primarily with Judeo-Christian lingo. If I were in the Middle East, I'd primarily use Islamic lingo. If I were in India, I would primarily use Hindu lingo. If I were farther east, Buddhist or Taoist lingo. Don't get hung up on language, on vocabulary. Hear this truth carried by all language.