They had spilled out back in December, while working on my Yurt...
By now it must be obvious, to most thinking people, that we are at a crossroads. Despite the promises of a clever scientific and technological solution some time in the future, what we are seeing today, are little actuality that is leading us to such a future, and plenty of examples of a path of incredible destruction and suffering in so many forms it is hard not to weep. We need to decide if we are going to remain committed to the technological path, pursuing the status quo in our hybrid cars and solar powered homes, or choose a direction that will make the planet's essential and life-giving resources more equitably available to more of the planets population.
After so many years of acknowledging that Nuclear active materials are not neutral in their effect, and in fact having already witnessed the unimaginable human suffering it has caused - we still stood mostly silent as several hundred tonnes of it were dumped on the people living in that part of the planet we label the Middle East. While in Zimbabwe I saw a shirt that said "Labels are for jars." The Middle East is not a separate place, occupied by aliens. The "Middle East" is a place, like New Zealand, filled with people like you and me. With mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, friends and loved ones.
You and I are witnessing a rush of depletion of our life-giving soils, our fresh water, diversity of food sources, and social and cultural diversity, and we, the people that are the fabric of our society, are vulnerable and at risk. Mere contemplation of the extent of the devastation of those diverse elements which combine to make for a healthy society - a society made up of happy, creative, loving, caring, crazy, humorous, wise, visionary people - gives me chills. It is occurring at an extraordinary rate.
How can the small me, just one in millions, make a difference?
Yet I know now (based on study and intuition based on observation) that I must, I know that I am part of the solution and part of the problem.
I have kick started a weekly documentary film night at the local community cinema, where valuable information is shared with those curious types who want to know what is happening in their world. I have catalogued and made some of this information available on a computer hard drive.
I have started riding a bike. I still share a car, but I sold my heavy tin box seven months ago.
I have a small garden established. It gave us most of our salad needs through summer, and continues to do so. I am working on expanding it to increase our reliance, and to reduce our dependence on Woolworths.
I have started a community garden, and a Saturday market food exchange stall. I am helping a bright young horticulturalist who has begun a local service of offering to help people who want to start their own garden. And I would be happy to help anyone who wants to participate in starting up a local complimentary currency to manage some of our local exchanges.
I am now starting to offer, among my community here on Waiheke Island, help with facilitating dialogue, using the wonderful Mapping Dialogue document that was created by the founders of Pioneers of Change.
This document was one of many gifts received from the Learning Journey at Kufunda. But it was defenitely the most significant. A couple of years ago I got involved in a community effort to help a group of parents have some influence on the design of an about-to-be-built new Primary School on Waiheke Island. Our struggle to engage in dialogue with the parties who were making the decisions extended over a period of several months, during which time I have never worked so hard and felt so ineffective.
Since then I had a burning question. How is it possible to bring together people with disparate points of view and have them engage in effective dialogue, where everyone is heard and decisions are made together on the basis of mutual understanding?
Using these tools I am offering my time to help facilitate dialogue for groups and individuals who serve in such valuable-to-our-society functions as teaching our children, ensuring fair access to resources such as housing, food, and water, or simply cooperating to share the fruits of their labour with each other at a weekly market.
The size of the problem seems so vast when we are working alone. Yet, happily I am finding there are more and more people who are picking up the baton and running their leg of the race. The race to...
What do we want Yesterday's Future to look like - tomorrow?