adventures of my mind

Compound Living

May 7th, 2008 by | Word Count: 836 | Reading Time 3:23 1,255 views

Based on my last few articles, I want to visit an idea that could be a better proposition for people in our country. What does compound living mean? Is it similar to compounding interest? No. What I am referring to as compound living involves having a multi-tenant building built to serve the needs of several families or a large family itself. No, it doesn’t have to be a compound in the likes of a fenced off facility that looks like a huge warehouse with lunatics living inside. What I am talking about is a nice house or building in the sense of a very large duplex or communal living like we see in college dormitories. Share a common living room, dining area, kitchen, laundry, and have separate bedrooms and a private office for each family or group. The design could be built to suit need, as big or small as needed.

Why would we want to do this? Don’t we all want to have our own slice of the pie? Our own existence where we are quite happy to have everything under our own control where we don’t have to deal with others in our private time? When you go home, don’t you like closing the door and everything inside is yours? Everything said is true yes, but also very expensive. When did the idea surface that we all must have everything our own? In the past, families lived together or very near each other on their family’s land and basically had an extended “compound.” Remember the television show “The Waltons?” Large families in the past had no problems living close together or even within the same household. Now, it seems like the first thing that has to happen for existence is to move out on our own and show the world that we are independent. Independent at whatever costs are associated with it. We are individuals to the bone.

That is all well and good. We are all in need of our own space, our own domain. However, that can be accomplished without everyone having to buy a house, buy multiple cars, and the list goes on. If we had a housing design that gave us enough privacy and also solved a lot of the budgetary concerns, we would be better off in a multitude of areas. Number one, our family or group would be much more financially stable because sharing a single place is always cheaper than everyone paying for their own, economies of scale at work here. Number two, being so closely involved with other people will create a bond between individuals that we do not experience today. If you live together and depend on one another, you are better able to socialize amongst others. It’s about putting the needs of the family above the individualistic needs of your own. Number three, all ancillary costs will decrease because of the shared environment. In the end, the family or group will be better off in every facet imaginable. Some additional cost savings would be to utilize the land available for farming and creating food for the household. Grow your own vegetables, have a few animals for harvesting, you get the idea. I’m not talking about a 100 acre farm here; you can get by with much less.

I am assuming we are speaking about rational individuals here. Of course there will be issues that arise over time. People always have conflict. However, conflict is manageable and can be dealt with by rational people in a way which will not create division. Hard to believe, but it can be accomplished. If everyone goes into the situation with knowledge of what it takes to survive and succeed, it can be done very easily. I’m not talking about forming a miniature communist state either. I’m talking about creating a venue where people actually enjoy being around each other with the added benefits of costing less money. I am not saying everyone puts their money in the pot to be shared. I am saying share the costs amongst the families, equally.

Think about it, people living together in harmony, what a great concept. Concept does not imply wish. It’s something that can be accomplished if people are willing to rejoin a society of people who truly care about one another and want to spend time with people. Our world promotes individualism and exclusive ownership. Why? Think in terms of money. If EVERYONE has to have it, you sell multiple millions of everything. The more you sell the more money you make. It’s all about volume in the long run. If we live together and depend on one another, our bonds will be stronger and we will benefit from a stronger community. Rather than focusing on our individual wants and needs, we will have our family’s needs at heart. Love your family. Don’t be so fast to want your children to be independent and “on their own.” On their own isn’t necessarily the right place to be.

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