There was no mortal establishment more important to an ancient Greek than their City State (Polis). It was not only their place of residence, but their nationality and the identity of their particular part of Hellenic religion.
Someone from Athens or Sparta would have called themselves Athenian or Spartan, not Greek in the sense of an all in one national people. In fact, Athenians and Spartans would have probably taken grave offense if you had called them the same people.
To an ancient Greek, cities also didn't have to be highly populated. In modern America, we call locations with only a few thousand people villages, but the Greeks would have considered them cities still. While places like Athens eventually boasted huge numbers, many cities had at, under or a little over 5,o00 people. And so my location (Machesney Park, Illinois), which houses well over 20,000, would certainly meet the definition.
Yesterday as I was driving home through Rockford and back into the Park, I thought on things I wanted to buy, and although I was several miles from home, I wanted to try there first, because I like keeping as much of my commerce as possible in the place where I reside. So I took the extra miles for my City, because that's what a Hellenist should do.
Since I set up my temple in Machesney, I've become increasingly involved in the City's politics and services. I've even considered running for office, but never actually have. The national identity, and even state identity stage, is of course very important, but your City literally hits home. It's where you spend most of your time, where you experience your love life, home, career and where you pray to your Gods.
You may not realize, but your City is of the most importance, because whatever happens there, has the greatest chance of happening to you as well. If the economy tanks, you will feel the bankruptcy. If crime spikes, you may need a few more locks. If the environment isn't kept clean, it could come out of your faucet or garden.
If something, good or bad, happens in a City or State 2,000 miles away, you wouldn't even know it if not for the news. But if it happens where you live, the ripples are on their way to you.
Therefore, make your City good and protect it from the bad. Stand up for her and her people. Run for office, go to the Council meetings, voice your concerns, write your representatives, get involved in community projects, spend your money at City businesses, and something else you may not consider, be kind to your fellow citizens. The more supported and happier a people are, the better their City will do.
You don't have to be the federal President or join the Marine Corps to serve. The opportunity to be of invaluable service is before each and every one of us right now, by the simple fact that we live there.
In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,