This is a work in progress, but this is where I’ve got to in recent weeks. I see these three strands as interweaving, to create an effect that will hopefully, be more than the sum of its parts.
Strand one: Abundance
In the last few years my household has worked out what sufficiency looks like and what enough means for us. We can and do live very lightly and we know what we need to be psychologically and emotionally sustainable. We will be seeking those things because we can’t help anyone else if we aren’t viable ourselves. We had thought about settling there, but looking at current politics, we are going to take what skills and strengths we have and seek to be better than sufficient so that we have abundance we can share with others who have a need for it. This is not just a money issue, but about all the things we might be able to share.
Strand two: Growing
It’s not enough to bail out people in times of crisis. We have to grow better ways of doing things. More supportive communities, better sharing of resources, more stable ways of living and being. What we’re seeing at the moment is an inevitable consequence of a competitive capitalist system. Other options exist. We have to start imagining them, talking about different approaches, enacting what we can. We need to create contexts in which people can flourish. Much of my attention for this strand will be focused locally but I am (of course!) also thinking globally as best I can.
Strand three: Communing
It’s about a non-consumption orientated way of life that instead favours social interaction, people doing stuff, getting outside. In my case it means walking because that feeds my soul, improves my mental health and generally keeps me viable for doing the useful stuff. It’s about offering other people alternative visions of a good way of life, and sharing our growing understanding of what ‘the good stuff’ is.
This is all about cultural revolution. It’s a three stranded strategy for moving towards a kinder, more sustainable way of life. No rioting required, just some serious shifts in what’s valued, how we spend our time and how we deploy our resources. I will be giving more away. I will be walking with people. I will be living the changes I want to see.