Last night I went to a Transition Stroud showing of a film about the whole transition movement. It’s something I’ve been aware of for a while now, and intend to get more involved with. The gist of Transition is a movement towards community based resilience and sustainability. As individuals we can do quite a bit to be more viable, but by working with those around us a lot more can be achieved.
One of the things I’ve found in Druid communities is that being Green is easier when you’re not on your own. Sustaining an alternative lifestyle in face of a lot of people in love with rampant consumerism can be really hard going. When the people around you think that you are crazy, deluded, irrational, naive and all those other unhelpful labels, sticking to it is not easy. However, once upon a time recycling was considered pretty weird and extreme, and these days it’s becoming ever more normal. Fair Trade was once a bleeding heart liberal thing that was never going to replace the idea that greed is good. And yet real progress has been made. Solar panels and wind turbines were once for the lunatic few only, but are ever more available and their use is growing. What else might be possible?
If the people around you are finding innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprints, re-use things, keep items out of landfill, produce goods locally and engage with each other, it’s much easier as an individual to be doing those things. The sharing of ideas and inspiration is a great help, so is the sense of not being a lone freak. In reminding each other of what this is for and why it matters, we can keep each other going. By celebrating successes, we can affirm our progress. Having a strong counter-culture makes it easier to keep plugging away.
One of the key ideas underpinning the Transition movement is that we need communities. It is through community resilience that we have our best shot at surviving economic crisis, energy crisis, climate change and challenges in supply. A robust community able to provide its own essential resources, is much more ready to deal with any kind of setback, already knows how to pull together as a team, and is ready to go. Transition is about being ready, in flexible ways, for an uncertain future, rather than assuming that government or big business is going to swing in and sort everything out for us.
I find the idea of Transition incredibly inspiring. Last night’s film has already got me wondering about some possible things I might do. There is so much that might be done. All I have to do is show up and contribute what I can, I do not have to single handedly change the world. All I need to do is be moving in the right direction, and joining with other people who want to go that way.
If you’re interested, do have a look at http://www.transitionnetwork.org/ there are groups all over the globe already.