What does your ideal community look like? How is it organized, and how is community life structured? What values does the community share?
The Andy Griffith Show’s Mayberry left an indelible imprint on my mind of what an idyllic community should be.
That community seemed to move at its own pace, nothing nor no one was going to speed it up or slow it down. Though the people seemed simple-minded and petty but they knew who they were and what was important.
Every time an outside force tried to wield its influence on the community or change it, the community changed them.
The sheriff, justice of the peace, judge, and town counselor was Andy Taylor. He held the town together with wit and wisdom and never carried a gun.
Their moral code and values were simply, “That don’t sound right,” “You hadn’t ought to do that,” and “What didja do that for?” They really didn’t need laws.
Well today that sort of community wouldn’t have a chance. Andy profiled, never read a suspect their rights, and due process was something done at the butcher shop.
Some might clamor there was no racial diversity. Yet there was that feel that no matter who came to live there they would be welcomed for who they were as a person. Andy saw into a person’s heart and Aunt Bea never met a person she didn’t like.
Mayberry today would have to have the obligatory wise, sensitive, and caring homosexual couple. I always had my doubts about Floyd the barber and Howard down at the hardware store, but they were fine with who they were one way or another. Floyd gave good haircuts and Howard could fix you up with a two pounds of ten penny nails or a new mower. The people there didn’t brag about their sexual exploits or wave their preference on a banner. The knew who they were without telling the world.
There are thousands of communities much like Mayberry. They are slowly disappearing. The modern world is overtaking them. The very thing that brought Mayberry to millions of living rooms in the 60’s has now taken it away. It has perverted the minds of many in the areas of character, ethics, sexuality, and civility. It is the TV.
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