It can be embarrassing to admit one feels lost or lonely. And there’s a threat involved. Such confessions denote weakness. What use are you to others? And what can you do to find your niche in a world where so much seems beyond your control?
I am ready to confess that, despite leading a life in parts very full, I’ve frequently lacked a sense of belonging. And I suspect (along with Maslow et al) that a sense of belonging may be core to human wellbeing.
Now, rather suddenly, since learning about the Transition movement, I’m wondering if I’ve stumbled on my tribe. Of which I am already a member. You might be too.
Lots of people are uncomfortable with where things are going among humans today. Globalization is both exciting and a threat. Yet you and I do have options to participate and influence direction, as examples given in Transition’s recent book demonstrate.
This revolutionary little manifesto-cum-manual is a tonic for all who would like to see humans operate differently in the contemporary world but don’t know how to help make this happen.
While not shy of (briefly) underscoring why current levels of consumption and growth can’t be sustained, The Power Of Just Doing Stuff avoids harping on ills of our time and what should be done, instead describing what can and is being be done by ‘ordinary people’ around the world. And rather than ranting against ‘those to blame’ for current problems, the author suggests a degree of working with ‘those in power’ – starting with those holding local office rather than petitioning a largely faceless ‘them’ at the top.
But one of the the most refreshing aspects of entering the world of Transition – a gradual cultural – is that anyone can participate and there is no permission needed to do so. Indeed, as I have discovered here in rural Bulgaria. I am already involved. You may be too.
Some examples of individual-leading-to group action given in The Power of Just Doing Stuff are centred around energy-producing schemes in parts of towns – from Brazil, through Portugal to Britain and the US. But these are not operated only by Greens in wholemeal sandals being ‘alternative’. These are initiatives touching the mainstream and doing business seriously – floating shares, powering schools. In some cases giving a good return to investors.
Other groups are opening shops or operating flourishing food hubs which are used by the majority in the community, not just a radical few.
The sense of belonging that team action resulting in successful enterprise engenders is further supported by the knowledge that there is a quiet, revolutionary movement already happening worldwide – as can be evidenced anyday online. All those of us who choose not just to despair or rant but to act, are part of it.
If interested in ‘being the change’, in however modest a capacity, I recommend you read this short book as a starting point. I’d be delighted to glean your view and share your ideas in Castaway Discussions on facebook.
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