Tuesday 29 March 2011

Doing Things Differently, Together

"What we found doing this, among people in many countries, in city, suburb and countryside is this - that as long as it is part of a story, changing your life radically is wholly possible. You can endure anything - as long as it is part of a story of heroism and transformation."*

“So did you ask your question?” I said to Nick over a mug of tea and a shared plate of chips in the Buttercross Tearooms in Bungay on Saturday.

I’d had to leave the Nicole Foss talk Making Sense of the Financial Crisis in the Era of Peak Oil before question time the previous night to catch the train home.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “I asked about who all the debt is owed to (the banks) and how is it ever going to be paid off if people have no money. Will governments do anything?”

Stoneleigh’s advice was not to wait around for top-down government because they will do little or nothing. Grass roots, bottom up was the way to go.

She emphasised that in a time of severe financial and energy contraction the last thing we need to do is close down and become engulfed in the (mass) psychology of contraction, thinking just about ourselves and our immediate circles, or panicking. We need to be able to rely on each other. This is a time to be building relationships of trust. ‘If you don’t have an extended family, make one,’ said Stoneleigh, echoing the closing words of the film that got me into Transition in the first place three years ago: “Find your people.”**

These years in Transition have really opened me up. I talk with many people I may not even have met otherwise. About things which don’t get expressed anywhere else with the same understanding or attention. I’m not alone in this.

In the early days it was common at Transition meetings to hear things like, “I can talk about climate change and peak oil here without feeling like the weirdo. I’m not the only one saying we need to do things differently.”

I hear that less now. More and more of us are starting to do things differently, together.

* Sharon Astyk on the Energy Bulletin
** What A Way To Go - Life At The End Of Empire

Pic: Nicole Foss (Stoneleigh) in Norwich last Friday

1 comment:

  1. find your people.... ahhh. Or is it about finding yourself through the people you happen to find around you? Whether or not Nicole Foss is accurate in her predictions, that's gotta be a good idea. Thanks for the post Mark.