MCs From An Upscale Family Man's Point Of View
an article by our site
Number of families: 6
Total number of children: 9
Number of adults: 11
Total number of individuals: 20
a. 40m, 40f , 16f, 12f, 9m
b. 38f, 11m, 9m
c. 33m, 32f, 6m, 4f
d. 29m, 29f , 5m, 4 months-f
e. 44m, 43f
f. 39m, 36f
Economic factors: upper middle
Hello. My name is Charles Anderson. I'm 29 years of age, and have a wife and two children, Ryan who is 5 years old, and Jessica who's four months. My wife, Melanie, is an accountant and I am a senior executive in a large sports equipment manufacturing firm. We are fairly well off financially, although money sometimes gets pretty tight. We are mortgaged up to our ears, for example.
I consider myself a very smart person although I would not like to be called an intellectual. I'm more of a thinker and doer than a theorist. I am capable of handling every aspect of my life, from repairing the plumbing at home to developing some of the most creative corporate strategies my company ever sees.
Melanie and I get along well. We are pretty good at solving family problems and finding solutions to issues at home. We are both very supportive of each other's work, and often bounce ideas off each other when we are dealing with work issues. I can certainly admit that Melanie has contributed to several of my brilliant corporate strategies. I consider Melanie an equal. She has as much earning power as I do, and as much respect in her accounting firm for her talent and professionalism as I do at my office.
The kids are doing well. Ryan has been in day care since he was a year old. And now he's going to half-day kindergarten. We did a lot of research to find a decent day-care center. In fact, Melanie had planned to go back to work after nine months of motherhood, but we had so many issues with all the day care we tried that it took three months to find one that was just right. It means extra time in the mornings and evenings chauffeuring the kids there, but it's worth it. Jessica will be starting there in about 2 more months. We decided that Melanie should stay home full time for the first six months so that the critical mother-infant bonding would have enough time to be complete. (She also did this for Ryan.)
Melanie and I have only a few close friends. I feel that, in many ways, we have gotten a lot of aspects of our lives together. Most of the people we know are still trying to figure out how to talk to each other or why to bother. We've learned how to communicate, to problem-solve, and to think critically about things that directly and indirectly affect our lives. We have the perspective that the world is one community and believe that everyone on Earth deserves a good, fulfilling, and productive life. We feel concerned about the environment and support some organizations that are actively trying to save it. We are always open to ways we can help others directly, but we are discretionary in that it must be constructive and long-term. We don't believe in putting Band-aids on infections. When there's an infection, the whole system has to be treated, not just one little eruption.
Consequently, we don't have a lot of close friends. The ones we have, we often help with their personal problems, and try to help them improve the quality of their lives. We like to relate that way. It's better than cocktail parties, that's for sure. I guess we feel we'd like to see everyone get beyond coping with their daily problems and be more fulfilled.
Now don't get me wrong. We aren't a couple of problem-free, perfect human beings. We've just been able to learn what we feel are very important things about life and living, and really use them. We took P.E.T. classes, for example, and have rigorously used P.E.T. ever since. We also spent a period of our lives working on our own personal growth and reaped a lot of long-lasting benefits from that. Perhaps you might call us a little beyond "just coping" or "just surviving." We can look beyond our petty little problems and be concerned about others.
So anyway, as I was saying, we have very few close friends. We have some nice business associates, and many people we like very much. But only a couple of people that we feel we can really share ourselves with.
So when we saw this movie, we got pretty excited about registering in the MC Database and filling in the questionnaire. Perhaps through this process we could find people who would be more like ourselves, and possibly move near them and construct an MC that way. We were quite skeptical that there would be anyone in this town that would be a good fit, but we would be open to whomever might be compatible with us.
And though we were mortgaged up to our ears, we weren't concerned about selling our house if we needed to move. As for our jobs, my firm has several branch offices, so there's a chance I could simply get transferred. And Melanie, being an accountant, would be able to work just about anywhere.
So we were open to some upheaval in our lives in order to be around people we could relate to and be more compatible with. And, of course, the child-care arrangements were our dreams come true. When we first started discussing moving, Melanie said "What about child care? I don't want to go through a three-month hunt again!" And then she looked at me and laughed and then really SMILED, remembering that that was one of the things MCs were all about, one of the wonderful benefits—your best friends can help take care of your kids (and vice versa)!
We went online and entered our info into the MC questionnaire. We stated that we were willing to move anywhere in the country, and that we needed to connect nationally with others, rather than only have local results (although we were open to that, too). We tried to be as specific as we could about what we were into and what was important to us without seeming close-minded.
It took a few weeks before we heard anything. We were contacted by a few people through the MC email system and knew there would be additional names, as they became available in the Database since thousands of names come into the MC Database every day. We would check and search the database almost every day to see if any more people popped up that could be compatible with us.
Getting contacted was fun, but not nearly as fun as communicating with the families that had been identified as compatible with us. What we did first was expand on our database information. You can share anything you want with the people you meet and we thought that video chatting, email, phone calls, and sharing our database info would be a good way to get to know each other. So before anyone wanted to start traveling, we wanted to learn what we could about each other and communicate in all possible ways we could.
We were getting contacted about one or two times a week with new names. We'd contact them (or they us) and share our data. Then if we liked the way their data looked, we'd start chatting, talking on the phone, etc. and we even tried some group chats (via Google +) conference type calls with several families. But that was chaos. We'd have two of us on two phones in our house, and three other families were doing the same. There were eight people on the line at once. I actually came up with a system whereby we could communicate on the phone that way, but it took some practice. And it was also a good test of how we could cooperate and get along. We shared videos of our families, and photos, too. Videos are really a good way to get to know people long distance. Body language and facial expressions reveal a great deal about how someone is feeling, their attitudes, and just vibes in general.
One thing we did which might be considered unusual was encouraging everyone to talk about everyone else "behind their back." We suggested that families talk in twos and honestly discuss how they felt about the other families they'd been in contact with. We knew everyone was doing it inside their individual families. But we had to expand that to discover our actual compatibility potential. We were up to about twelve families, and with no predetermined idea about how many should be in our MC, we had to start looking at how well we liked each other, and how serious we were about traveling to meet each other, and ultimately making a commitment to moving so we could live on the same block and actually have an MC.
This exercise proved to be very revealing. It enabled each person to consider how s/he would feel in close proximity with every other potential MC member, members including adults and kids. It was very important for the kids to participate in this exercise as well. Kids have a tendency to be more honest than adults in some situations, and are often in better touch with their feelings. So we made sure that everyone who wanted to had his or her say. We also started looking at where everyone lived, and what the potentials were for moving. It might seem kind of odd, doing all this before actually meeting each other face to face. But I feel that we did get a lot of face-to-face in the chatting and videos; and with the phone conversations and email, it was enough to take us to the next stage of considering whom we liked and where we might end up living.
And remember—we got a couple of new names every couple of weeks. In fact, every family in our group would often get the same two names. Occasionally a family would get a name that none of the others got—narrowing down some unique compatibility that didn't quite mesh with the rest of us. Those families would have to decide whether they wanted to add the new family to our network or carry on with another network as well. This actually happened to almost every family at least once. We'd get a name that connected us to another whole network; we'd get to know that network and carry on our communications in two or sometimes three directions at once.
We were having a wonderful time getting to know everyone. We were confident that some special friendships would develop out of our communications, and they did. What happened was that families started getting together by twos. What several family "pairs" discovered was that they really liked each other, and wanted to get more permanently together. There were two families that we felt this way about, so we got together with each of them individually. We knew after those meetings that we had two families that we wanted in our MC, so we suggested that they get together also, which they did. All this time, everyone was completely open with everyone else in the networks. We'd all announce when we were getting together with someone, and we'd announce the results. Although we liked most of the families in the networks, we didn't have much impetus to get together with several of them, nor they with us. We acknowledged this and our network split slightly. There were our three families that had already decided on pursuing an MC commitment with each other, and there were six more families that we were still getting to know, since several of them had just been added.
This process went on for several months. Committing, splitting the network into more appropriate groups, getting together, and adding more families, and so on. No one was in such a hurry that they'd settle for anything less than what was best for them. And as the process went on, we all got to know each other exceedingly well. As the committed MC grew, we started looking at where we all wanted to live. Everyone was flexible (amazingly), and so instead of deciding to move to any family's particular city, we all decided to look at our fantasies of where we'd each like to live the most. We'd write family wish lists with our first three choices to see if we could find a place in the country that would be among the top three favorite places for everyone.
We ended up settling on a place that was in the top two of everyone's list. This was another item of proof that we were quite compatible. However, the next thing we did was plan some time together as a whole group. We decided to go to the city that we'd selected and stay in a motel where we could live independently and also be near each other. We located a place and made reservations for three weeks. We actually set up our motel living as much like an MC as possible. We had designated caregiving all the time it was needed, used "alone" signs, and used our smart phones, tablets and laptops for PSB communication. We played, planned our "sun" and other parts of our MC, looked at all the issues about each family's moving, and spent a lot of time talking and getting to know each other. We scouted the city to find an area we wanted to move to, and also spent some time scouting out the job market.
It was a bit tricky finding jobs, buying and selling homes, and timing everything just right. But we approached it methodically.
All it took was one family to make the move, and our block would be identified. And that's how it started. One of the women was offered a job while we were on our vacation. The prospective employer knew that she was also in the process of moving into an MC from out of town, and was understanding and flexible regarding her starting date. So we all helped look for her house which would determine our block. We found a great house on a block that had another house for sale. We talked to the owners of both houses and found out that they were also trying to move into an MC, and needed to sell their houses to do it. We asked them if they knew what the other neighbors were doing around them. They both laughed and told us everyone's plans. Enough of the block would be moving out eventually to make room for us. Some were moving into MCs, others were just using the MC opportunity to sell their houses to move to other places they'd wanted to go. The reason that they laughed was that they'd never really talked to most of their neighbors before. The MC phenomena had actually created the opportunity for more contact in the neighborhood than there ever had been, even though the current neighbors weren't MC-compatible.
We decided that the block was ideal, and worth the risk of taking a fair amount of time before we'd all be able to move in. We all had to sell our current houses as well. The plan was for everyone to sell their houses right away and find jobs in the new city. We'd move to the new city and rent houses or live in motels until we could move into our block. We'd try to make any temporary housing as close to our block as possible. We'd do a PSB-only MC for those who hadn't yet moved to the block. All child care would happen on the block, and we'd start building our sun as soon as we got enough property rights to do so.
It took about a year from that three-week vacation for all of us to move into our MC. (And that vacation was about eight months after we had registered at The Big Answer and filled in the MC Database questions.) Everything was worth the wait. The kinds of friendships we developed over that time made everything about moving into the MC and setting up the details seem as natural and as easy as you could imagine.
I never imagined that I'd find people in my life that I would be so compatible with, and that I would have the kind of friendships that I do now. We're not that exceptional as people. We perhaps have just a few things more together than the average person, which make us able to focus on what we consider more important things. We aren't worried about our relationships; we're worried about the world. We aren't fighting with or about our children; we're fascinated watching who they're becoming and feeling joyful at being part of the process. We aren't spacing out in front of the TV because we don't have people to relate to; we're relating to people whenever we choose, AND finding those relationships rewarding and fascinating.
And now, with the MC movement going full force, we can actually help others start their own MCs so that their lives can finally work. In fact, we've been very active in our new city with local events. Some of us attend the local meetings. Others make themselves available as resources for people to help work out MC-start-up issues. Others volunteer at the Local MC Center do whatever they can to encourage people to attend the meetings and other events. We try to be a good MC example for others, so they'll be inspired to do one themselves. And that's just about the best thing anyone can do for themselves and for the world and for the future.
In some ways I can identify with Robert in the Novel and the close encounters idea. Even before being in the MC, my needs had been filled enough that I could actually think in terms of close encounters of the second and third kind. Before our MC, Melanie and I did some close encounters of the second kind whenever the opportunity presented itself, but our "third kind" options were never satisfying enough for our aspirations. Now we have the opportunity for the best "third kind" activity that can be done: bringing MC lifestyle enhancement to the entire world. I get chills when I think about what that means.
I'm not nearly as brilliant as Robert, but I surely want to thank the MC organization for the opportunity they've given me to fulfill those ambitions and desires that previously had no suitable outlets.
Another area where I can identify with Robert is in taking care of the kids. I was pretty comfortable caring for my own kids before we moved to our MC. And once I started participating in MC caregiving, I found real joy in caring for all of the little ones. This surprised me. I was quite sought after when I was a primary or alternate caregiver, and very often when I was not designated, one or another little one would want to be with me.
This was very interesting. At first I was flattered, and I'd play with everyone who came around (unless I was really in the middle of something else, or had an "alone" status, of course). And I thoroughly enjoyed being with the kids I was with. There was no sense that they were a burden or a bother. But occasionally I let the playing get in the way of some of my other responsibilities, so I had to learn to say no sometimes. And lo and behold! Even after I said no, the kids still loved me and wanted to be with me at other times. I had the direct experience that telling a child no, when the child has other choices available, DOES NOT lead to the child feeling neglected or to the child rejecting you. The child happily goes on his or her way, choosing another potential playmate, all the while knowing that two caregivers are always available. All my reading and logic had said this was so, of course, but I had never experienced it quite the way I did during the first few months of our MC.
It's funny. Recent presidential candidates have modified the "thousand points of light" expression. They're talking about millions of points of light now, and they're referring to the MCs that are evolving. I love it! Talk about a politician's dream: The country's getting its act together, the real estate market is in heaven, the economy is booming, and—read their lips—it required not a cent of new taxes to get all this progress. Of course, as usual, the President took some credit for this progress. He even called himself "the MC President"! In actual fact, of course, all he did was to point in the direction the traffic was flowing and say: "I got it—let's go THAT way!" But, hell, we'll take all the help we can get. We MCers are strictly win-win, no matter HOW silly the two parties are for trying to take credit for an essentially grass-roots movement.
Once MCs began, bureaucrats would stand out in the traffic and wave it on in the direction it was already going, trying to look like leaders