Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Spiritual Health in a Changing World

Good Morning,
There will be many emotional challenges as things begin to change.  We will face grief, fear, despair, anger, the need for compassion, and ultimately joy and triumph.  Being able to eat and house ourselves is important but it will only be valuable to us if we can stay mentally on an even keel.  I will not tell folks what their spirituality should be.  I know what mine is and where my faith lies and I encourage you to do the same.  It is important as we make decisions about how to spend our future and plan for what that future may be to realize that it will be hard at times.  The inner strength that comes from a solid spiritual foundation will both make it easier to get by ourselves and easier to help others.
The best advice I can offer right now is to allow yourself to envision your best and worst scenarios for what you think may happen and gain spiritual peace concerning those situations now so it isn't such a shock later.  Just as a warrior checks his or her armor and weapons before a battle, we need to be prepared for whatever challenges may face us.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Being part of Resilient Lafayette

Good Morning,
If the larger community of Lafayette, Red Boiling Springs and Macon County are going to begin transition to a more resilient way of doing things, the smaller community of One Possible Future could play a big role as a catalyst and living example.  It will be hard for folks to envision the wholesale kind of change the future may require of them but if they can see a functional example it will be easier.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Would Your Future Look Like?

Especially for those of you who have read all of this blog, I think I've been fairly clear that I expect us to be living in a future where little of anything is similar to what we experience now.  For a little while today I spent some time imagining what a future could look like if things got really bad.  This is actually a message of hope.  My vision of what we are capable of leads to a stable healthy and enjoyable situation.  I expect most of society to suffer greatly but I believe whole communities and small municipalities could start now and create a resilient enough local economy and infrastructure to make the transition to a very functional future.
Individuals and small groups can do the same thing and maybe in the process help others to get by.  So in my musings, after pulling some fresh thick crusted caraway whole wheat rye bread out of the oven, I envisioned a time maybe 2 years into the long emergency when a couple stops by who has been on the road almost the whole time but has managed to survive.  They are wan.  Life has not been easy and most of the people they have interacted with are doing really poorly.  When somebody is even willing to share food it is not much and not good.  Sometimes you don't even want to ask what you're eating.  Most of the time folks insist that you get back on the road before dark because they don't want strangers around.
So we invite them to come in.  They are cautious but curious too.  As it is mid-afternoon, we have just pulled several loaves of sourdough whole wheat rye bread out of the oven made from grain we grew last year and ground fresh this morning.  We sit them down at a table and place some fresh warm bread, some fresh butter, some farmers cheese, and a bowl of fruit in front of them and get each of them a tall glass of cool filtered water.  They sit dumbfounded and look up at us as if to say,"Are you serious?"

We assure them it is all for them and let them know that they should enjoy the meal and we'll have time to talk after.  To make a long story short, I could continue on in story form but they end up staying for a couple of weeks while they regain their health.  They work and play alongside us during that time and we send them on their way better dressed and better provisioned than they have been in a long time.  They are invited to stay but they are trying to reach their children farther east.  A good map in hand, they go on their way.  Now after considering what that would be like, consider the paradigm shift that occurred in the visitor's minds the moment they sat down at our table and realized that we do have the capacity to create something  beautiful, healthy and functional.
Have some fun!  Imagine One Possible Future.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Children, our future

I came across this quote this morning.
"What can educators do to foster real intelligence?  ...We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine Earth would teach us:  silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation, and wildness."  David W. Orr

This is a beautiful concept.  Not altogether different from what Christ was teaching.  I don't expect a consciousness awakening that has everyone thinking this way but those of us who are trying need to do the best with the understanding we have.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Corporate Subsidy Revisited

As if on cue, this story was in the news today; http://news.yahoo.com/usa-becomes-food-stamp-nation-sustainable-160645036.html

"It's kind of sad that even though I'm working that I need to have government assistance. I have asked them to please put me on full-time so I can have benefits," said the 32-year-old.

"This becomes an implicit subsidy for low-wage jobs and in terms of incentives for higher wage job creation that really is not a good thing,

"It's a good thing that the government helps, but if employers paid enough and gave enough hours, then we wouldn't need to be on food stamps

The above quotes are from the referenced article.  Now go back and read the blog entry titled "Government Subsidized Corporate Profit".  They don't need to cut the assistance program, they need to make the corporations pay a living wage so the employees are no longer eligible for public assistance.

Are we healthy?

Good Morning,
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."  World Health Organization, 1948

"Although physical health is important to well-being, humans also need mental health, which starts with the absence of mental illness, but also includes such concepts as freedom from fear of personal harm, freedom from fear about not meeting basic needs (food, water, shelter, safety), and so on.  In addition, we are social creatures and require a sense of community; stimulating, trusting, and regular interactions with others, plus a sense of usefulness, satisfaction, and security in what we do and how we live our lives as members of groups.  Without all three kinds of well-being--physical, mental, and social--we are not healthy."  Cindy Parker and Brian Swartz, Human Health And Well-Being In An Era Of Energy Scarcity And Climate Change

The above quoted article is in The Post Carbon Reader.  I am struck once again by the notion that regardless of what happens socially, economically, or environmentally in the world in the coming years or decades, we don't have this kind of health in our lives.  American culture has moved further away from strong community support and from any sense of confidence about our ability to meet our needs in the future.  From a position of intentional community, we can gain a more complete version of health in our lives and face our future from a position of personal and group strength rather than constant uncertainty.  I would include spiritual along with physical, mental, and social health and I believe community tends toward a stronger more stable spiritual condition.

To those of you who are following this, I appreciate your interest.  You can help me know what folks are interested in hearing and what direction to go with a little feedback.  It also lets me know that someone is out there.  So let's start a little community interaction here on the blog.  I would sure be interested in hearing from you.  Also, if you think what we're talking about here is worth the time, share it to others.
Thanks, Joe