Dear Editor – Common Knowledge and Long-Range Planning

Thanks for drawing attention to the proverbial Elephant in the Living Room.

You are so right about “Business as Usual” killing us. Despite a mayor exasperated over budgetary facts, when it comes to facing economic reality, I think most of us have a tendency to want to anesthetize and put our communal heads in the sand. In my own family, I have been struggling to accept the reality that my frequent sojourns at Cafe Casino need major scaleback since we found out my husband is being laid off after 8 years of carpentering for LAUSD. Yikes—reality check!

Luckily, we started early in preparation. Two years ago I joined Transition Culver City— a great resource for learning how to become more resilient as the world we thought we knew so well starts to go a bit wonky. With support from TCC, I started growing some of our family’s own food (no more need to buy bags of organic salad from the market!), and networking with others who are doing the same so we can swap. I also learned how to preserve what we grow when we get a bumper crop (aka canning)—my depression-era savvy Kansas Grandma would be so proud! I’m also starting to bypass the TV anesthesia by joining together with others in knitting or crafts circles. And I joined our local Time Bank where I can swap services or stuff. These are some small examples of how to build community and self-resiliency when the going gets tough.

The writing has been on the wall for awhile now. But many of the people I meet are still operating under the “business as usual” paradigm (they MUST be ignoring that wee small voice inside, RIGHT?). Sometimes I feel like I’m swimming upstream by myself, but with Transition, have found companions willing to discuss tough and challenging topics such as economic unraveling or food security, and make positive action plans to start turning the big ship around — on a personal basis. To even just explore the issues starts to bring things to light.

Transition Culver City is just one of the hundreds of local pods of the international Transition movement that’s spreading across the planet in response to our global economic crisis. According to the Transition U.S. website, The grassroots Transition movement seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. The movement represents “one of the most promising ways of engaging people in strengthening their communities against the effects of these challenges, resulting in a life that is more abundant, fulfilling, equitable and socially connected, making the transition to a more sustainable world.”

As tempting as it is to try and sidestep reality, business as usual isn’t logical, safe, or wise! It is my belief that we really do need to re-invent our society. We need creative solutions to help inspire hope and renewal in a growing populace that is increasingly overwhelmed by economic collapse.

If people are interested in learning more about creative economic solutions, there’s a unique one-night only Theatrical Screening about Economic solutions coming to Culver City next Wednesday, July 18th 2012 at Pacific Culver Stadium Theatres. The film is listed elsewhere on the calendar of the CC Crossroads. I would link it, but don’t know how in these comments.

It’s a documentary and panel discussion called Fixing the Future: Building Local Jobs, Income & Stability. It features positive stories of communities using sustainable and innovative approaches to create jobs and build prosperity.

The Culver City screening of Fixing the Future is part of a nationwide premiere in more than 50 theatres in cities across the United States. According to the Transition U.S. website, this theatrical event is an unprecedented opportunity to be part of a national effort to support local economic change and to network with likeminded people in your community.

ABOUT THE FILM: In Fixing the Future, host David Brancaccio of public radio’s Marketplace and NOW on PBS visits people and organizations across America that are attempting a revolution: the reinvention of the American economy. The film highlights effective, local practices such as: local business alliances, community banking, time banking/hour exchange, worker cooperatives and local currencies.

Due to a wildly successful PBS version, the filmmakers have made this new feature-length version of the documentary & accompanying pre-taped panel discussion that the July 18th filmgoers will be among the first to see.

The screening is hosted by the L.A. non-profit Living Economy Salon. Their mission is to foster a dialogue and connect people around new innovations in economic models that promise a more fair and abundant economy for all.

But enough of touting the upcoming movie night at the Culver Pacific Stadium…

I loved the John Muir quote at the end of this editorial. Judith said: “Everything we need to do to be in better financial health will also contribute to our social health, our physical health and our long-range planning for the future. ” Let’s start exploring the Common Knowledge that we truly are all inexorably hitched to each other, and start making the change we want to see “out there” in the world!

Ginny Blades

Editor’s Note – This was originally a ‘comment’ but was long enough to be upgraded to an ed letter.

The Actors' Gang

1 Comment

  1. Thank you, Ginny, for bringing this breath of fresh air and hope for a transformed way of being in business to us. Looking forward!

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