When it comes to defining an idyllic community, the Balinese have pretty much got it sussed. The way of life here is based around the idea of a group mentality, rather than individuals, and has followed the same structure for hundreds of years. I am amazed at how well it works, and even though there are many temptations around them, the essence still holds strong.
The island is divided in to many small villages, all of which have their own committees. Decisions are made as a group, and work is divided equally. Every member bands together to keep the village clean, and helps each other when there are special ceremonies. Traditions have been passed down through the generations, and every one just knows what their part is in the whole scheme.
No one can get too big for their boots, as the village makes sure that everyone is treated equally. Arrogance and individualistic activities are frowned upon, and keep the people humble. Families stay in one family compound, and support each other, every generation plays a part in bringing up the children.
In my travels, the only other communities that I discovered that worked on similar principles were the kibbutzim in Israel.I had the pleasure of living in one for a few months when I was younger, and experienced first hand a community dedicated to mutual aid and social justice.
The kibbutzim are completely self sufficient, consisting of living quarters, schools, and communal facilities such as a dining hall, swimming pool, clinic, laundry etc. There are chicken coops, and dairy cattle sheds as well agricultural fields, growing fruit and cotton. To get from place to place the people either walk or ride bicycles. When you arrive you are provided with clothing, the same as everyone else. You are no longer an individual. The work is divided between the people, and jobs are rotated so everyone experiences all tasks.
Everything you need is right there, and there is very little reason to leave the grounds. However, if you need to go in to town, there are cars that belong to the community, and anyone can use them, providing they book in advance.All decisions are made as a group,
Both the kibbutzim and the Balinese communities are fantastic places for young children and the elderly, as everyone is well cared for and made to feel useful. However in both cases, it’s the young that start to get itchy feet and want to experience life outside of the community. The future of these idyllic communities lies in the hands of these people, and I certainly hope that they can see the benefits of keeping these values alive.