Monday 1 August 2011

Shifting Worlds, Uncertain Times

I was planning today to write about my attempts to come to grips with fractional reserve banking, the imminently expected US default and a book called The End of Money, all of which have been on the periphery of my consciousness over the past couple of weeks.

My time this weekend though was occupied with other things: collating a write-up for Bungay Beehive Day, helping to prepare the Transition Norwich August bulletin (out now), responding to a hundred emails and planting out various potbound plants.

But I did read Mark Crutchley’s article ‘The World Shifts’ on the One World Column which considers the potential consequences of an imminent US default. Mark writes of the complexity and instability of the modern financial world and its (astounding) relevance NOW to every person in the street in clear, understandable prose. For a lay reader like me this is manna.

We live in uncertain times. Uncertainty is a natural phenomenon. But when that natural uncertainty is exploited by engineered financial and other crises designed to keep most of us enslaved and in debt with all the resulting stress, worry, isolation from each other and disconnection from the planet, then it can no longer be called natural.

But we are social animals at heart. And that’s what being in transition has made me increasingly aware of over the past three years. That it's not just me.

“Shall we work together on these things?” Nick asked me last week. We were at a Sustainable Bungay planning meeting discussing a future leaflet for raising awareness of the transition ethos behind the library community garden and organising the front of house for our next Give and Take Day on 24th September. A burden lifted. Suddenly neither of us were on our own. “Yes, of course”, I said.

Sometimes the only thing to do in tough times is to join up with other people, communicate what’s going on and see what you can do together. The key I realise more and more is in recognising the urgency of the situation and the times and then responding as if it really matters.

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