As we honor 2012 and welcome 2013, many of us are aware of a new consciousness that is taking root worldwide that hungers for better systems for how we live, love, work, eat, learn, play and engage. This is driven partly by lean economics but also by a desire to live more meaningfully. Take it down to the brass tacks: What is the fundamental unit of every culture? Home: the place where everything starts. If Home is not the place where good things start, we have problems. God knows, we’ve seen too many of them. The base unit of our family structure is the nuclear family. Nowadays, that unit is often is a committee headed by one adult, possibly a teenager. Although families have changed radically, our support for them is based on the mythical Cleavers. Today we need homes that function as healthy units without dysfunctional emotional baggage – Professional Homes run by Professional Homemakers. This is a pilot concept that updates the boarding house model of bygone years. The basic premise is a network of Professional Homes and Homemakers where people live together by mutual agreement to pay their fair share, do their fair share (chores), contribute to the wellbeing of the household and are pleasant or at least strive to be. An important principle is: Thou shalt not meddle, judge or attempt fix other household members. In short: MYOB (mind your own business). The Homemaker is responsible for all aspects of the home, including who lives there and the terms of their residency. Three levels of homemaking include Homemaker, Professional Homemaker Apprentice and Certified Professional Homemaker. The process to be recognized as a New Community Vision homemaker is to be sponsored by people or an organization, complete the application, consent to a background check, pay a fee and be interviewed. New Community Vision, in conjunction with social service agencies, will develop the Professional Homemaker Apprentice training curriculum. Candidates who successfully complete the training are Certified Professional Homemakers. Residents wishing to live in a Professional Home, would also complete an application, consent to a background check, pay a fee and take training in Living Successfully with Others. A designated social service professional will work closely with each Professional Home, including the Homemaker and residents. The designation of Professional Homemaker immediately recognizes the art and skill of homemaking and the substantial economic and social benefits of living in a well-managed harmonious environment. Although we don’t recognize it, skilled homemaking is an executive level job and would be rewarding, which is not to say easy, for those who are natural at it. It requires a soft heart, a tough mind and a network of support. Also it would provide an income for people (think grandmothers) who don’t consider themselves employable. Professional homes will be strongly supported by New Community Vision, its aligned agencies, a cadre of social service professionals and homemaking peers. Watch for posts about how to get this ball rolling. Hint: it will certainly involve coming out to housing mixers where you will meet prospective homemakers and others who can improve your life through the magic of the cooperative movement.
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