Friday, January 30, 2009


James Lileks wrote about something fairly unrelated several weeks ago in the Strib, and at the end of his piece is this nugget of information:

"...Minneapolis is full of people who live alone. Forty-three percent of all households consist of one (1) person. Gads. Do you know what that means? Never mind the question of support for schools, or the impact on neighborhoods that no longer ring with the laughter of kids spilling off the bus, or the multi-generational layers of citizenry that add depth to a block. Almost half the city lives alone."

I don't know if this is true in other large cities, but seriously, what a depressing statistic! Perhaps, since I have never lived alone, I can't appreciate that it has a wealth of virtues associated with it. But I think my revulsion to this statistic is more than that - I honestly think it's an unhealthy thing for that many people to live life without the pleasure and the responsibility of someone else's presence. It doesn't matter if all these people are otherwise happily engaged and involved in their communities, busy at work, have many friends. There is a huge difference between having a community outside your door and having one in the kitchen with you at 6:30 in the AM. When you live with others you learn to put your own needs aside in a way that you don't in any other situation. simply because you don't have a choice. For most of human history we have lived together, Christ commands us to live in community - how else should we live?

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