Our true destiny…is a world built from the bottom up by competent citizens living in solid communities, engaged in and by their places.– David W. Orr
Communities are the lifeblood of human existence. ‘No man is an island’, and we do well to hold this context. Sadly, our communities have been abused and destroyed by the usual suspects. This must change.
We’re already starting to see smart communities evolve that have a pioneering spirit and an ecological soul. Intentional communities, smart growth initiatives, the new urbanism and a host of other creative actions are pointing to ways we can live in greater health within our communities. We still have a long to go.
Until recently, the mainstream model for a city had changed little since the last major “innovation”—designing cities around cars. Ouch. Cities have been undergoing substantial changes in recent times, whether it’s designing smart growth and public transit like Portland, or determining how to reconfigure a city like Detroit, with great voids where neighborhoods and factories used to be. Like many “rust belt” cities, Detroit has lost substantial population and money due to globalization. And yet even there things are awakening.
Cities are indeed awakening, as are communities everywhere. The Awakening, our grand journey into wholeness, is very much grounded in our communities. And while the most dramatic changes may be found in cities, rural, suburban and every other kind of community is experiencing this as well. It’s part of this massive shift to the World 5,0 culture.
These days many of our communities are virtual. Whether it’s an online group we’re part of, facebook, twitter or other social apps – the rich texture of our communal life is endless. The requirement is that we rebuild and recreate our communities to reflect our values and goals, wresting them back from corporate and government overlords who have ruined communal life with their dictum of profit at all costs.
Another great realization these days is that we now well understand than our communities are in truth, ecologies – interwoven and interconnected arrays of people, land, architecture, natural resources, and all else that ties us together. At the same time, our particular local setting very much determines the kinds of communities we are part of. This is damn handy as it is in our local communities that we can have the most impact in effecting change. Local initiatives, local politics, local business and local health create the context for our local lives.
We’re finding our ground and empowering our selves, neighborhoods and communities. We’re taking a fresh look at priorities and possibilities.
By applying the principles of ecology and the World Five Platform, we find ourselves far less stressed, far more connected, and far more happy in our surroundings. How nice.