Tag: Neighborhoods

How to Find Diversity without Even Trying

Re-thinking our obsession with diversity

Religion is good for you. Religious participation, sociologists tell us, correlates with lower levels of criminality, better health, greater marital stability, and greater well-being.

According to an article awhile back in the Atlantic Monthly, sociologists and economists are studying this phenomenon further and, in the process, have discovered other things. For instance, they’ve discovered that Catholics are likelier to attend Mass if they live in a heavily Catholic neighborhood.

This doesn’t surprise me. When I attended the University of Michigan, I never heard any Catholics discuss Mass, confession, fasting on Fridays during Lent, etc. When I went to the University of Notre Dame, such topics came up all the time. Students discussed what churches have the best (okay, shortest) Mass. They moaned about fasting. Notre Dame back then was 91% Catholic. When almost everyone around you is Catholic, you’re more comfortable being Catholic and acting like one.… Read the rest

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Your Community

There’s a localism movement afoot. People seem to sense, and perhaps even understand at some level, that it’s important to be a part of a thriving local community.

The Saturday after Black Friday is now recognized as “Small Business Saturday,” an effort to remind people that it’s important to support their local stores. There has been a corresponding harsh backlash against Amazon and its disturbing gains on the back of COVID.

The phrase “Bowling Alone” from Robert Putnam’s 2000 book about America’s alarming reduction in “social capital” has gained currency. I see it used with no explanation, since the writer just assumes everyone knows what it refers to.

More people seem to understand the importance of buying and eating locally-grown food.

The American Chesterton Society, that flagship organization for the oft-forgotten but persistent economic school of Distributism, recently declared that “Distributism” ought now to be called “Localism.”

The examples could go on and on.

If you’re interested in the localism movement, here are five things about the importance of your community that you should keep in mind.

1.            Communities are organic

“[Man] combines with other men because isolation endangers him.” Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage.

The earliest communities came together for safety. The world has bad people who will beat and rob you, unless you have protection. If you belong to a group, you have a layer of protection, hence the rise of the earliest communities.

They are, in other words, organic. No one told the first peoples, “Go live in that village together, so the marauders can’t get you.” People did it naturally. The communities formed organically, from the bottom up, with no direction required or sought from the top.

When you get involved in your community, you are living organically.

2.            Communities solve problems

“ . … Read the rest