Thursday 2 February 2012

Eyes Wide Open - How Transition Changed My Life #4

Since becoming a part of Transition, I have learnt to look at the world in a different way. You could say I now look out at the world with my eyes wide open.

On the face of it, it seems difficult to be optimistic about the world in general. In many ways things seem more gloomy than ever - despite the recession, austerity at home, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, riots on our streets, we don't seem to have learned to be any nicer to each other, or any less greedy or self-centred. People seem even more inward looking than ever, just wanting to hunker down until the perfect storm blow over. If you glance across the newspaper racks, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the same old opiates, the modern-day fairy-tales of sex and scandal, are all people are interested in. The environment, fairness, social justice, looking out for each other, have these fallen by the wayside?

But things are different, you may just have to look a little bit further, dig a little bit deeper, to see the shoots of something different growing out from the scorched earth left behind by the banking crisis and the so-called austerity measures. Green shoots in Norwich, in Bungay, Norfolk, Suffolk, East Anglia, across England, the UK, across the world. Green in every sense of the word. Environmental green, sure, that's what you might expect me to say, but also fresh green, new green, that spring green when the first tips of new growth break through the hard cold ground. The green that tells you that although the cold winter feels like it's never going to end, it will, finally, do just that.

For me, being a part of Transition means looking at the world in a different way, as a place alive with possibility, green shoots everywhere.

I used to think "wouldn't it be good if someone would just...?"

Now, I get an idea and think "hey, we could do that!" Here, in Norwich, now, this year, this week. What's stopping us? Anything is possible.

Seeing all the things that have come out of Transition Norwich over the last few years - this blog, Norwich Farmshare, the Low Carbon Cookbook, the Magdalen Street Festival, my own project, Norwich Community Bees; enough projects to fill a magazine article, a documentary film shown at the TN 3rd Birthday Party! These are amazing achievements, pulled together with passion and will, against the odds, against the prevailing culture. Mark talking about becoming Chairman of Sustainable Bungay, talking to Simeon about sustainable businesses, creating jobs and livelihoods; Charlotte about growing as a communicator, passing on skills - these are part of a new way of thinking, a new way of working together. Because when you hear about the ways in which Transition has changed people, you find you've had similar experiences, and those experiences draw us together.

I listened to a programme the other night - the so-called Generation Food - about new ideas in community supported agriculture, edible urban landscapes, food sharing, localism - and instead of feeling wistful, I felt fired up. Anything that can be achieved, can be achieved. I do this all the time - every TV and radio programme, every article, every conversation is alive with possibility, with inspiration. Everything is material for change.

This more than anything else is what's changed my life since that first day I heard about Transition. I now feel that anything is possible; we really can change the world if we truly want to.

1 comment:

  1. Nice one, Jon. Here's to all those green shoots emerging! Lovely to read here about the things we've all been engaged in making sense, now more than ever.

    all the best, Mark