Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Actively Participating

An urban garden. Having a local, self-sustaining food system is just one aspect of Transition. (source)
"Transition is a challenge to be an active participant in the unfolding of our collective future."
What is Transition? We start out by asking people to see the world as it exists, rather than as they'd like it to exist. Then we invite them to imagine the best possible future, for the whole community, within that reality. Third, we challenge them to figure out how to get there. And finally, we say: go there, it's up to you.

What's actually occurring in most of the world is exactly the opposite. Most of us are fed a media diet of the world as they — or someone, anyway — wants it to be, rather than as it is. Then, there is no vision for their future, but rather a passive and thought-destroying extrapolation of present perceived trends. The only challenge we are expected to face is surviving the daily grind with enough cash or credit left over to buy the latest iToys, whose only purpose is to provide a distraction from the soul-crushing weight of the meanness and meaninglessness of most of modern life. And, finally, we are not encouraged to go anywhere or do anything. Life is "a ride," which we are "along for." We are told to "enjoy it", "it" presumably being allowing someone or something else to control, determine and direct the greater course of our Earthly existence.

It is pathetic and sad what we've come to accept; and the corollary is that, as playthings of the power elite, our only remaining "freedom" is the freedom to be thrown away, just like Woody and his gang, when we're all used up or out-grown. It is no wonder so many of us are apathetic, even in the face of the most Earth-shaking changes ever to occur in human history. This is the necessary result of the triumphant marriage of our disposable culture with the "ownership society."

So these are our choices: to passively accept our lot as throwaway commodities with no more ultimate value than our precious electronica, or step up, as adults, to the challenge of collectively determining the course of our future.

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