I am not a big fan of labels. I don’t want to be identified as a doomer or survivalist or prepper or anything that I find limiting. I am just me, muddling along as best I can and hoping to leave the planet with as little harm as possible. I suppose that is why I have a hard time with the Transition Town initiative. It seems like a gigantic bucket of labels that get in the way of ordinary people doing what they need to do to prepar for the changing times. Anything that would prevent the plumber down the street or the farmer on the hill or my kid’s teacher from being willing to participate because of the perception of the label doesn’t work for me. Even our sustainability group suffers from this. It has the reputation of being for the earthy-crunchy, free spirit, artsy-craftsy odd guys and a whole lot of the people who should be there, aren’t because of that. As much as possible, I make an effort to participate in events that have a cross over appeal. Our Potlatch is a good example. Folks who wouldn’t dream of coming to a sustainability meeting can still see the wisdom in regifting and enjoy the community. Even the old man down the street who rarely speaks to anybody showed up for the free cinnamon rolls and cider.
Now it is only 6:00 in the morning and I have overslept. I have to be out the door in 30 minutes so I am going to leave this now and return this afternoon with some more thoughts on this subject as I think it is an important one. Please revisit and maybe this will generate some thoughts from you all in the meantime.
I’m back and a lot more with the program after some food and coffee.
We need everybody to come to the table. The crusty old farmer is not going to be at any meeting that begins with an activity that involves holding webs of string to show our interconnectivity. But we need the farmer. We need his wisdom and experience and skill set. The single mother with two kids, the one who is barely making it on food stamps is not going to come either. She doesn’t have child care or energy and she would feel out-of-place. But we need her. If we don’t scoop her up and teach her to feed her kids better food for less money we may lose her kids and we need them too. We need mom to support local vendors and raise good, healthy kids who will know how to grow a carrot and repair their shoes. The upper income accountant is not going to come to a meeting in Italian leather shoes. He is really busy and he really can’t fathom a world much different from this one. Bet we need the accountant. We need people who understand currency and can help us design local economies. We need their organizational skills and ability to get things done.
I catch some flack for what I write on this blog. I have been accused of being too liberal. too conservative and of not taking a stand. I keep those postings private for the most part although I do respond privately. I will probably catch more flack for not jumping on the TT train. What I believe is that hard times are here for many and on the way for the rest of us. I believe that everybody out there has something to bring to table and we have to listen even if we find what they say disagreeable. We can not afford the luxury of arguing over every difference of opinion. We are all in the ark together and we can work together and survive or drown alone.
I hope the Transition Town initiative works. I would love to live in one but not so much that I am willing to sacrifice the diversity that keeps us strong.