The Fourth Turning is marked by Rising Community as we move toward the First Turning. Community is such an important concept during the First Turning that Maximum Community is described as a Special Priority during this time.
However, we don’t have to wait until the First Turning to work on developing greater community in our lives. In fact, during the somewhat stressful times of the Fourth Turning it can be very helpful to think about a better future and how you can get there.
We can already see this rising desire for community around us. Even before the events of the past few years, there was movement out of the cities and into healthier places to raise a family. Gardening was becoming popular as people want to grow their own food. Farmers markets and eating local gained a great deal of support.
Homeschooling continued to grow. People were rethinking college and contemplating vocational opportunities and apprenticeships. A fundamental switch was already slowly happening. The events of recent years have simply brought it into much sharper focus.
Living through the Crisis of the Fourth Turning has forced people to think with greater clarity about what truly matters to them. Endless restaurant choices in the big city became much less important than a happy and healthy environment for raising a family.
Between the events of the past few years and whatever happens before we leave the Fourth Turning, people will be longing for real and authentic community.
So as you think about the next few decades, where do you want to be in community? Is it a geographic region? Is it a location connected to family and friends? Do you wish to find your community around a church family? Are you looking for maximum legal freedom?
There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. But they are something to keep in mind as the coming years shake out.
If you or your spouse wish to change jobs, it might be important to factor in the possibility of lasting community in the locations you consider. If you want to raise your children in a particular kind of community, where will you find it? How do you get there?
Or do you stay where you are and begin creating the community you want starting today? If you already have roots in a particular place, it might make the most sense to stay where you are and develop a strategy for being a positive catalyst in your church, homeschool group, or community.
Rather than allowing yourself to be dragged down by the difficulties of the Fourth Turning that we’re experiencing today, think purposefully about where you want to be in community in five or ten years. And then do something about it today.