Saturday, April 18, 2009

People on the Edge

The shootings that have gripped our country over the past several weeks is an unfortunate alarm.  We think it's no coincidence that this is a time of economic uncertainty and recession -- problems typically come to the fore during times of stress.  

Part of our challenge is that we have become over-vested in the economy.  We have designed our lives on the assumption of plentiful money, working in whatever profession we choose.  What we've given up is resilience and managing against the risks of not having the ability to provide the basics of life -- food, clothing, shelter -- forgetting that we cannot eat money.  When we can't provide these basics, we necessarily are under undue stress and react on a primal basis.

Rather than pursue earning as much money as possible, perhaps it is time to return to the basics.  We can learn how to grow our own food, and make our own clothes and shelter.  These are skills that characterize true community resilience, security, and sustainability, rather than high income.  

"Through [the new paradigm], we see reality so structured that all life-forms affect and sustain each other in a web of radical interdependence.

. . . . We turn to this radical interdependence . . . because it can serve the healing of our world, and its very survival."
                                                --- Joanna Macy

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