Commons. This is a term that I had not heard before but I realize that I act within accordance to them regularly in various different situations. I have been in living situations where there are common rules and understandings that people follow. When I was in Australia I lived at an organic farm and retreat center called Paradise One where in exchange for housing and food everyone was responsible for working in the garden, cooking, and cleaning. We meet in circles to discuss house rules and determine new common agreements for what worked and what needed improvement among us.
Another example of this is at one of the Acupuncture places that I work at. As an employee we have circles as well where we all sit together and talk about our responsibilities to make it a better experience for the business, us as employees, and our patients.
On a personal level I believe the structure of relationships, particularly romantic are “commons”. I prefer to use the word “agreements”, however it is the same in the sense that two individuals are coming together to maintain something bigger than themselves that is a relationship. Within the relationship each person communicates their needs, weaknesses, etc and particular perimeters are set of behaviors, expectations, goals, etc. that are followed to maintain a healthy relationship. And like the common suggests, these “game rules” can change and shift as things change and time goes on.
I feel living in commons is very natural. As humans we are not separate but are deeply connected to everyone and everything. I feel that governments are actually too large at the moment to understand the needs of everyone they govern and this is why these sub commons are created to be fitted to smaller community needs.
Commons Lab Antwerp (Belgium)