HOW TO START A MICROCOMMUNITY
an article by our site
If you want to start a microcommunity (MC) or just find one to be in, a national database with searching/matching capabilities has been set up to help you find people that you are compatible with. You may have seen the movie (depending on when you read this) written about this site’s Novel. And if you're reading this, you're already aware of the website. If you haven't yet seen the movie, we certainly recommend it, especially if you like what you've learned on this website.
Coming soon or perhaps already available (depending on when you read this), are TV series, various newsletters, audio and video tapes, magazines, additional books, and computer software—all relating to the MC movement. Please read We Found the Answer to How to Turn This Country Around, and Now We Need Your Help Figuring Out How to Get It to the Few People in a Position to Act on It.
So MC aspirants, read on.
If you've been to the movie we hope will be written about this site’s Novel, or just read it on this site, you've experienced the story of the invention of MCs from the Galaxy point of view. The movie is based on the Novel part of this website.
At the movie, if it is produced, you should be informed about this website.
The Forest Through The Trees
If you are interested in participating in the MC movement you'll need to fill in the personal data requested in the registration page. Other
questions you'll answer will include various types of personal data about your state and city, family status, single/married, personal preferences, type of
families you would like to live near, and the preferences you have about them. The registration data will be put into a database so you can match yourself to people who are compatible with you.
Note that if the media blitz hasn't happened yet, there will be few if any names in the database, so searches will do little good. But register anyway so that when the blitz happens, you'll be ready. See MC FAQs, Why Register, and Good News and Bad News.
Registering for MC search and match
Please Note: the data you register with will be used only for its intended purpose. That is, it will only be used to assist you in finding people that you might want to be in an MC with, to help you start an MC, and after you're in one, to support your MC experience with useful information. It is not our intention to sell or release your name (the only one you give is a username, not real name) to miscellaneous sales organizations without your explicit permission. Nowhere will you enter your real name or address or age or birthdate. The email you enter is not public. You'll get an ID. You'll enter username, password, groupname, city, and state, and the rest of what you will enter is your group's MC member characteristics preferences.
An MC is composed of any group of approximately eight to 40 people (more or less is okay, but we recommend no more than 40 and no less than eight) who wish to consider themselves a subcommunity, become good friends, share childcare when needed and use P.E.T., Winning Family Lifeskills or one or more of the other Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs and PSBs for communication enhancement. However, each family lives in a home or apartment just like they always have. (Getting people to live physically closer together than people do in normal block homes or apartments would be naive, counterproductive, and silly.) The goal is to get 3 to 12 families into each MC, with the total number of people in an MC averaging around 24, and with each family being a loving, cohesive individual unit living separately from the other units. Each family should take full advantage of enhanced lifestyle support and additional personnel resources to draw on for friendships, nurturing of children (and perhaps elders), and general solidarity, security, and personal growth. Each family has its own living unit, and each individual in a family has a room that is solely his or hers. Some MC families might be older, some younger, some childless, and some with children. Additionally, some MC hopefuls might be singles wanting relationships, divorcees, single parents, widows, widowers, and so on.
An MC with a Japanese Garden
And we all know that there are millions of unmarried couples that compose families, as well as groups of friends that consider themselves families. An MC can consist of any grouping of "families" that have decided they are compatible.
Whether or not such nontraditional families are desired as part of any given MC is up to all the individuals involved in that particular MC. The MC movement doesn't prescribe what type of individuals anyone "should" wish to live near, nor does it find it difficult to accept the realities of 21 st century society, with its myriad of different lifestyle preferences. It's obvious that people tend to want to be near other people with similar values and lifestyles.
There is no reason to see MC people as either liberal permissives with "loose" values or authoritarian conservatives with "strict" values. MCs have NO such defining characteristics, and each MC reflects the values of the people who create it. The only values that people may need to adjust when commencing an MC lifestyle are those revolving around random, hit-or-miss parenting. So P.E.T. and Winning Family Lifeskills methods need to be used or one or more of the other Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs instead of taking pot luck with methods that stopped being viable decades ago (authoritarianism and permissivism). It's not an MC if authoritarian or permissive parenting is employed. Authoritative and Democratic Parenting methods MUST be used. There isn't even the slightest shred of doubt that these are the best methods. We've read the research. We know the science—a lot of it is found on this website. Authoritative and Democratic Parenting methods are much better than all other methods—that is an absolute fact.
If you wish, your MC can be only unmarried couples who have children—it's your decision. However, for MC members to have better, more clearly defined legal rights, we recommend that unmarried couples who have children get married. This is also for the children's sake, since it makes kids' lives a bit easier. Just a suggestion; but do what you wish.
It might be well to recall the predictions of Ken Dychtwald (in Age Wave), which point out that MATRIX-type families are what's coming—they're already arriving— and these extended family configurations are a perfect building block for MCs.
There are some who would love the idea of a "melting pot" mixture of races and ethnic groups in their MC (sort of like a miniature U.S.A.), and others who
would be very uncomfortable with such an idea. Since people state their preferences, desires and interests on the questionnaires, those who wish ethnic
diversity can have it, and those who do not wish this can pursue the type of MC that they prefer. MC preferences are NOT like dating site data, which has a
different purpose. MC preferences are NOT like employment solicitations, on which employers are rightly banned from discriminating about age, race, sex,
and family characteristics. The MC preference means that individuals and families can state the desired characteristics of their best friends and
neighbors. There would be no point to stating preferences or even to the questionnaires themselves if anyone were banned from stating precisely the
characteristics they desired for others in their MC.
Here is what MCs look like physically: MCs.
Once the questionnaire has been submitted with your MC-aspirant data and the media blitz has actually occurred and there are many families and individuals registered, you can perform various types of searches on the MC database. (See The Media Blitz section of Good News and Bad News.) Several smaller group chat meetings (e.g., chatzy.com and Google+ Hangouts) might be set up and then held, or a large meeting can be divided into smaller groups of people who have compatible characteristics (as ascertained in the database searches). Since most people
fail to learn very much about one another at most types of meetings or social functions, certain aspects of "getting to know who's got interests similar to
mine" could be handled ahead of time.
In using the search and match script, criteria filling search results have a groupname that has a link to a private messaging page to let you send a message to this group.
People would eventually discover that, to their surprise, there are people right in their state or town—or even their area of town—who would make dandy friends and neighbors. Perhaps they already know a few. They would get together in group chats at first, and eventually, IRL in MC-sized groups composed of families and/or singles. They would explore the MC potential in their lives, with regards to nurturing, location, commonality of ethics, morals, interests, etc. Some groups would be able to move ahead with MC plans and begin the relocation and MC-formation process. Other groups would begin the process of frequent get-togethers with IRL or group chats, and/or PSB communication, and would take whatever time they needed to examine and evaluate the potentials of actual MC formation.
Other groups would not yet feel ready for even potential MC commitments, due either to insufficient compatibility, psychological inertia problems, an inability to cope with change or the prospect of change, or difficulties about location choice.
It is hoped that these families and individuals will at least give themselves the relationship boost of P.E.T. rules, alone-space rules, and Winning Family Lifeskills, and try to realign lifestyles currently based upon materialism, mobility, automobiles and TV escapism so that they are more centered upon relationship, commitment, connectedness, solidarity and humanness. And let's hope that they continue going to chat meetings and do periodic MC database searches in hopes of eventually making the right connections. Want to supercharge parenting experiences? See Supercharging MC Empowerment.
Finally, in harmony with the new, ecological-holistic paradigm, let's hope that these people do everything in their power, as they wait for the right MC-potential people to show up in MC database searches, to expand neighborhood friendships and/or join babysitting co-ops, and holistically consider these people as part of their social resources, remembering that without a variety of alternate nurturers, children are going to be facing situations without choices and therefore feel "stuck." (See WHY Register for MC Search and Match?.) Families can either choose to exist in lifestyles that deterministically pass on problems, hang-ups, normal neuroses, biases and errors to the next generation (NOT MCs), or they can choose to really thrive in state-of-the-art, Third Wave, enhanced lifestyles that help people become the full, lively, aware, wise, compassionate, successful human beings they were meant to be (MCs).
The most critical aspect of the database is that lots of MC aspirants register so there are lots of results that come up in searches. This will happen if and only if the media blitz occurs. But sign up anyway to get a head start!
Dr. Louise Hart’s Winning Family method of lifeskills enhancement are the best holistic recipe ever for bringing families out of the chaotic fog of conflict, win-lose, lack of self-esteem, power trips, insecurity, guilt and confusion and into the clear blue air of effective, satisfying family life. There will be no need for government-dependent social engineering. Instead, what's needed is the application of individual responsibility for improvement of the social environment, enhanced parenting, and improved relationships with self and others. See the web page on The Winning Family for more details.
P.E.T. ( Parent Effectiveness Training as developed by Thomas Gordon) is an essential ingredient in every MC, unless the MC selects one of the other Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs. Neither flat-gradient nurturing nor P.E.T. alone is enough to make the MC movement thrive. Both of these things in combination with PSB use and alone-space rules complete the formula. See the web page on P.E.T. on this site for more details.
Here are some helpful methods for taking responsibility for your own lifestyle’s effectiveness and for transforming relationships with self and other from either partially or wholly dysfunctional to fully functional:
- Dr. Wayne Dyer’s No-Limit personal growth methods for self and helping one’s offspring to take charge of and be responsible for their own happiness
- John Pollard’s Inner Parenting methods for RE-parenting yourself when your parents didn’t do the job very well, so that you can go from effect to cause and from symptom to nurtured
- Shad Helmstetter’s Self-Talk solution to getting beyond all the negative past programming that is holding you back and keeping you from being fully functional and happy.
It may have occurred to someone, reading about the relocation of MC aspirants in this website, that the MC movement is about elitism or exclusivity. It is precisely the opposite. MC enthusiasts are trying hard to get everyone in on it, and their close encounters of the third kind (world) are truly about getting the world in on it with all due haste. (See Good News and Bad News.) While it's true that the country club set isn't going to want to be in the same MC as disadvantaged inner-city dwellers—and vice versa—that doesn't mean that either group wants the other to be left out of the MC movement.
Relocation of MC aspirants
Quite the contrary. It's a win-win situation for all. The more the powers-that-be expand their humanness and responsibility and develop their potentials for compassion via the MC movement, the more they'll act compassionate, empowering, human, and like true proponents of the ecological-holistic paradigm when it comes to the way they use their powers and influence in the corporate, political, and legislative spheres. And the more the ghetto people in our society pool their nurturing resources, extend friendship quantity and quality, and develop a sense of responsibility (instead of feeling merely like the hopeless, disadvantaged oppressed which many folks in gang areas feel) via the MC movement, the less they will bulge the welfare roles and be enticed by drug-pushing profits and crimes of other sorts, and the less they will continue to be part of the problem of the poor livability of inner-city life. The MCs, and the people who join them, will be the very epitome of what being part of the solution is all about.
Fussiness may possibly be mistaken for elitism, at first glance—before you give it some thought. It should be stated at the onset that the MC movement is not about rejecting anyone or turning up one's nose at anyone. For instance, when you get married, is that a way of communicating to the world that "I've found all you other people to be so disgusting and ugly that I reject the lot of you, and I'm marrying this person, who is at least tolerable."? No. Marriage is a POSITIVE act which says: "I desire to be with you so much that I'm willing to make this marriage commitment." It is in no way a slam at others.
Divorce rate in the US from 1935 to 2010
41% of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, but MCs preclude most such possibilities due to the need-filling situation of lots of nurturing friends
Similarly, realizing that you only live once and attempting to surround yourself with the people with whom you are the most compatible, and then forming close-knit relationships with these people—this is a positive act for yourself, your family, your community, and your world. It's 100 percent win-win.
Neighbors are nearby people we are stuck with, not friends we have chosen—but MCs change all that
Reality isn't really that scary, is it? You either like, tolerate, or dislike your neighbors. Compatibility with them would be a fluke, an unexpected piece of good fortune. No one counts on it when they relocate. Having them turn into your best friends would be an even more unlikely fluke. It happens, but sometimes it happens because lonely, alienated people befriend anyone around them because they simply have no other friends. This means they throw out the compatibility issue: out of desperation they take what they can get. This isn't bad, or even necessarily unwise, but it certainly falls seriously short of an optimal lifestyle.
Anyway, before the MC movement when people relocated, it was rarely about rejecting neighbors. It was more often about job relocation, a new job, a raise that allows a higher standard of living, a cut in pay that necessitates a lower standard of living, retiring, getting married or divorced, etc. Neighbors haven't ever been seen as an important factor when most people move, with the exception of elders moving near their younger kin or vice versa, for various reasons. MC relocations, then, are simply positive actions in which people attempt to establish the preconditions for a close-knit, viable community, moral and ethical and psychological growth, self-actualization, family-actualization, community-actualization, solidarity and connectedness. See Home Relocation to Form Microcommunities (MCs). Then see the Surely you're not saying we all need to relocate? section of the MC FAQs page.
People will be picky about whom they form MCs with. This is not only wise—it's essential. MCs are not fly-by-night commitments. Many will end up as lifelong commitments, not to be taken lightly. You need to feel okay about them caregiving your kids and/or elders, and vice versa.
To support you and your MC, e-newsletters and e-magazines (or possibly just MC-centered blogs) will keep you in touch with other MCs, and the MC movement. These websites or e-publications will cover all issues arising both in creating and maintaining a viable MC. You'll learn about other MCs, get tips and suggestions on just about everything, plus theory, expansion ideas, and whatever topics you want covered.
Audio and video tapes, TV shows and more e-books will come out, mostly of the how-to variety that walk you through some of the necessary steps to learn how to begin and maintain MCs. Specific topics will include PSBs, Winning Family Lifeskills, P.E.T. rules, alone space, flat-gradient nurturing, etc. Many of these resources will be derived directly from individual MCs giving their extensive tips, based upon experience, about how to make an MC succeed.
Among the various software programs available, only the MC Scheduler will be useful for childcare scheduling in an MC to mitigate most of the scheduling complexities of organized flat-gradient nurturing. If you decide to run a daycare center in your MC, however, there is software of four varieties: ProCare, Childcare Manager, Daycare Scheduling Software, iCare Child Care Management Software.
We'll discuss the MC Scheduler now:
MC scheduling isn't like daycare scheduling. You enter all the kids’ and adults’ names in a form, plus any outsiders’ names you’ve ever used or might use. Then for each time slot you merely select caregivers from dropdown lists. Check it out: just register (free!), log in, and then select the MC scheduler from the menu.
And of course there will always be the MC database to help MCs find new members that can be scheduled into caregiving. You can register with the MC database for searching and matching.
Our society is eating a diet of nothing but red meat, but is neglecting its fruits and vegetables, as it were
For example, a group of passers-by watch a helpless woman being raped on a big-city street (a true story), without anyone offering help in any way—as if the whole thing were TV entertainment. This is not about a few heartless, apathetic people who ought to be ashamed of themselves. It's about the price society has paid for advances in industry, technology, transportation, mobility, self-sufficiency obsessions, specialization and centralization which have not been matched by concomitant advances in culture, lifestyles, ethics, and social awareness and practice. Our society is eating a diet of nothing but red meat, but is neglecting its fruits and vegetables, as it were. The end result, eventually, HAS to be disease. The MC puts not only the fruits and vegetables into the all-meat diet of modern fast-lane existence, but it tops them off with vitamin supplements—just in case. (The world is full of stress and pollution, in case you haven't noticed, and such things tend to keep our systems out of balance. And prevention beats the heck out of cure.)
You may find yourself coming up with many reasons and excuses why an MC is not for you. Maybe you're the type who always puts things off, or maybe you want to see how it works for others before you make a commitment. Perhaps you think that you won't meet any people that you'd like, or that others won't like you or wouldn't want to be in an MC with you. Well, remember you're not alone with these issues. What's important is how you respond to that internal dialogue. Do you believe it and succumb? Or do you listen to it, consider it, and then get your issues resolved, and then move ahead and make your life the best it can be?
The major barriers to enhancing your lifestyle that you'll encounter are laziness, inertia, fear of change, or confusion. The latter barrier can be handled by rereading this website until you see the light, especially the novel and the MC Articles section of the Articles page. Laziness and inertia problems can best be handled by the following:
In your bravest possible mood, take stock of yourself, your family, your community, your life, and your world
Get in the bravest mood you've ever been in. Be willing to look ANYTHING in the face without backing down. Be willing to see ANY truth about yourself, your family, your community, your life, and your world. In this mood, take stock of yourself, your family, your community, your life, and your world. If things came out rosy or okay, here is what happened: You used relative values and standards. Now do it over again using universal standards. Relative standards and rationalizations sound like "Well, I seem happier than the Joneses, and I turned out better than my siblings, and I'm doing okay in my job and my spouse and kids seem to love me, and I'm living in the greatest country in the world." None of this takes anything remotely like bravery; it requires only the ability to rationalize, to speak double-talk, and the ability to throw cliches and stereotypes around as if they impressed you, which they don't. Start the analysis once again: Are you, your family, your community, and your world truly happy, healthy, problem-free, psychologically fully functional, successful, benevolent, inspired, loving and relating wonderfully? If you're still saying yes, then run, don't walk, to the nearest place where you can get some serious professional help—you're out of touch with reality.
There is, we admit, a possibility that you are among the very tiny portion of the population that is happy, relatively fully functional, and in a family that is likewise blessed. If this is true, thank your lucky stars, the man upstairs, or whatever—but then look around you. Your community IS NOT like you, not at all. And neither is your world. See Good News and Bad News. Most of us have never even seen such a family. The statistics on this website are based upon the best studies known—we didn't invent them. The high prevalence of dysfunctionality symptoms regarding the society should alarm anyone who hasn't given up on life. See the Research info.
Reread the Novel and vicariously go through the main characters' realization of these truths. And then ask yourself if you care about the fact that you're happy but you're surrounded by varying degrees of unhappiness and dysfunction. If not, we have bad news: you're not nearly as happy as you like to think—you're merely coping well with a negative situation, not unlike the scenario of the press interviewing a man who'd just received a violent beating during a mugging, and who, when asked why he seemed so happy, replied: "It felt so great when the beating stopped."
If you don't care about anyone else, then there's no way that you can actually be a happy person. If you still insist, however, that you are happy, but you DO care about others, then ask yourself what you can do to help the least happy ones in your family and community to become happy people like you. Most people draw a blank at this point, or mumble things about giving to charity, filling collection plates with cash at church, and volunteering for certain community-enhancing organizations. While we'd never belittle such valuable and important things, the problem here is the incessant tendency to slip back into relative parameters. These things help the community a bit, and they prevent you from experiencing guilt for being so much happier than others, but the question, above, if you'll remember, was about what you could do to help the least happy ones in your family and community to become happy people like you.
The world is an unhappy, violent place; are you REALLY doing everything you can to make it better?
You're used to thinking—and it was true!—that the charity and community service is the best that you can do—one could not ask more of you. Yes, indeed, it really was an accurate assessment. THEN. But not now. The MC factor changes the analysis formula. Participating in MCs and extending general support for the MC movement are ways you will, after all, be able to contribute significantly to or even be a key factor in the happiness of the not-so-happy people we were just discussing. See A Woman, Always Ahead Of Her Time, Helps The World Catch Up. And if you, like most people, are not really all that happy, then you have some very happy personal changes to look forward to.
Laziness and inertia problems can be dealt with by the above brave reality checks, but what about fear of change? First, try the above confrontational approach, just in case the fear of change was laziness in disguise; perhaps you'll find out that by being honest enough about what you really want, the fears will dissipate, since you're more afraid of not ever getting nearly what you want out of life than you are of lifestyle changes.
We should remind you of the conservative paradox: A conservative is someone pursuing two mutually exclusive goals.
The conservative person wants very little change, as s/he is often attached to his/her land, possessions, power or status, and s/he knows that any change involves a certain amount of risk regarding these things: s/he might somehow end up with less than s/he had before the change.
But the conservative person also tends to pine for the good old days, misses times of better ethics and morals, nostalgically wants the respect from family and community s/he enjoyed—or his/her parents and/or grandparents enjoyed—in times past. S/he wants things to turn around so that kids once again learn responsibility and respect and self-reliance. S/he abhors permissiveness and rightly sees it as one of the reasons so many kids are messed up. (But s/he usually fails to recognize that authoritarianism is also one of the big reasons so many kids are messed up. P.E.T. and Winning Family Lifeskills use neither of these hopeless parenting methods, and work wonderfully.)
Anyway, the paradox is that the conservative very much wants change at the same time s/he very much wants to avoid change. S/he wants things to be better, and s/he wants us to recover the best part of what we lost in the process of becoming the alienated, fast-lane, rat-race society we are today. S/he is totally on the right track with regards to much of what s/he misses in modern society, of course—a fact which helped sway the 1980, 1984, and 1988 presidential elections. HOWEVER, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THINGS TO GET SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER UNLESS THERE IS SIGNIFICANT CHANGE. This is simple logic.
Conservatives feel the most comfortable if changes are in the direction of "the way it used to be." Regressive, as opposed to progressive changes are at least fairly palatable to these people. At least they know what such things are about and can predict (because "they've been there—or at least grandpa has") what the effects of backsliding to "good old days" measures will be like.
Conservatives tend to develop an unrealistically rosy picture of the past, as they complain about the 'liberal permissiveness' of the present
One of the effects of all this is that conservatives tend to develop an unrealistically rosy picture of the past, as they complain about the "liberal permissiveness" of the present. Another is that they tend to confuse cause and effect, and use black-and-white oversimplifications to characterize the factors that made the "good old days" so GOOD. Another is that they tend to remain proponents of the reductionistic-mechanistic paradigm, simply because "if it worked so well back then, it should work well now." See The Third Wave.
There was a time when the U.S. needed the heroic cowboys—but now we need wisdom
In their quest for easy answers to tough questions (they usually love old adages, cliches, sayings, and "old wisdom"), they sometimes miss the greater picture. For instance, the world at one time needed conquerors and pioneers and gunfighters and entrepreneurs ready to take advantage of (exploit) abundant resources, ambitious people who wouldn't let opportunity pass them by. But that was then and this is now, and the world needs to replace the carelessness, reductionism, aggressiveness, win-lose competition, greed, and superficiality of the mechanistic paradigm with the caution, delicacy, holism, intuition, compassion, humanitarianism and environmentalism of the win-win, ecological-holistic paradigm.
Another effect of the tendencies listed above is that the conservatives, when looking at what worked so well in the past and why, tend to throw in authoritarianism and "discipline" as the only really viable methods of influencing people toward appropriate behavior. Although discipline is indeed a good thing AS LONG AS IT'S SELF-DISCIPLINE, the 20th century showed, beyond any possible shadow of a doubt, that coercion and authoritarianism and punishment are not only ineffective and unpredictable motivating techniques, they are disasters when it comes to parenting strategies (admittedly, permissiveness is a disaster in this area too). They are just as nonviable in the international relations arena. The more the U.S. kicks Islamic butts in wars, the more Islamics radicalize and join the terrorists. Result: ISIS is kicking more butts than we are. Kill one terrorist, breed 10 more. Kill 10 terrorists, breed 100 more. Folks, ARE WE THE ONLY ONES THAT CAN DO 5TH GRADE MATH AND SEE WHY OUR PRESENT COURSE IS SUICIDAL?
Luckily, the insight, wisdom and compassion that characterizes the ecological-holistic paradigm have arrived just in time to show us viable alternatives to the "good old ways" of the "good old days." In short, nations will learn how to cooperate, or all will perish. In short, nations will begin adopting ecologically sound habits, or life on Earth will degenerate into a battle of blind rats in a toilet.
Nations will begin adopting ecologically sound habits, or life on Earth will degenerate into a battle of blind rats in a toilet
It's not too difficult to see that the conservatives are going to need three things if they are to be happy:
- acceptance of the need for change if our
society is to ever restore the best of the good old days (respect, responsibility, trust, solidarity, community, family values, respect for elders, connectedness, and commitment)
- letting go of the anachronistic mechanistic paradigm and welcoming the ecological-holistic paradigm—in their hearts and in their actions
- allowing the MC movement's people to be examples to emulate, during which they'll be aided in learning just what values really were responsible for the goodness of the good old days, and which ones merely went along for the ride
All of the above, if read, understood, and integrated, should successfully address the fear of change that will be a major barrier to overcome for conservatives contemplating their MC potentials.