This weekend I am madly rushing toward a deadline on Monday. And Monday I am going out with Matt for our second anniversary! So bear with me through these next couple of days – the posts may be a bit light. In the meantime, though, I want to ask you your thoughts about something….
Community Building. This is something that I believe is very important as we face a volatile economy, agricultural and environmental issues, climate change, peak energy, and a whole host of other issues facing us today and in the future. I believe we must work to make our communities more resilient, more adaptable, and more sustainable. But how do we do it??!! That’s the real question, isn’t it?
Below is what I’ve written from the Building Communities page here – some of you may have already read it, others may not have. I just realized I’d missed Kate’s great comment there, so I guess this is a page I’ve been putting on the backburner a bit myself. But it’s time to revisit it. What I’ve written needs to be expanded (I’m embarrassed by it)! So read what little I have written, if you will, and then let me know what your thoughts are. Maybe together we can make some sense of this next stage. Thank you.
The idea of community building is a growing interest of mine. I believe many of us sustainability bloggers are beginning to write and read about this. I suppose the reason for that is very simple. Once you become aware of your impact on the planet’s health, your health, and your children’s futures, you take steps to create a sustainable lifestyle for yourself and your family. And after a year or a few of doing this, of learning ways of living simply, frugally, and sustainably, you begin to realize that you’re happier. And healthier. And you feel good.
And then the realization hits. You’re pretty nearly alone, others around you are not living this same lifestyle. And wait, if others aren’t doing it, how is the planet going to be saved? How are we going to fight climate change, and save that finite amount of oil left on the planet, and live in communities that can adapt to changing economies and weather patterns and … and … and … sigh.
Maybe what we’re doing is not enough. It’s good, but we have to shout out to others to come along with us. We have help them also feel happier and healthier plus save the planet, our children, and our communities in the process. We can’t do it alone!
How do we do that?
I think we start by living locally, and becoming an active part of our communities. And we can work on our family and friends, carefully raising their awareness about issues we care about, showing them how we live our lives and how happy we are.
The blog world here is a great community. We all push one another to do more, go further, learn and grow. And we share resources and even meet with one another in the real world, too. So we learn here, we are pushed here, and then we go out into our neighborhoods and do what we write about!
Each person we affect will affect others, so it multiplies. Slowly but surely, we will change the world. It’s an over-used quote, but one I’m very fond of:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
Here are a few links to get you started thinking about these ideas.
A Film to Watch.
And a couple of books I’ve read, with more on the way from my local library.
- Deep Economy (don’t forget to check out the giveaway!)
As I said, clearly that is not enough! So how do we build our communities to make them more sustainable and resilient? How do we convince others that we need to change our lifestyles, to redefine normal? And what areas should we work on first? Please also feel free to share anything you’ve read that the rest of us should read.