Be The Instrument Of Change In Society: A Moment With Bill Reflection
SEATTLE TO BUILD NATION’S FIRST FOOD FOREST
I came across this article a few weeks ago and I found it fascinating. You can find the story here.
Sixty miles down the road from where I sit writing this article, the city of Seattle has set aside a seven-acre plot of land, and on that land they will plant a sustainable food forest. It will be planted with berries and nuts and fruit trees and other plant life that can be picked and eaten by citizens of that fair city.
The cost to the citizens will be zero. It is just another example of one community stepping up to the plate of Life and hitting a home run.
“Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.”
Community service = growth and development. How true is that?
I have written several articles about the community garden movement in my home town of Olympia, Washington. Driving around Olympia is really rather remarkable. There is a growing sense of community here and that sense can be seen in the ever-increasing number of community gardens. The one pictured to the right is on land donated by a neighborhood church. It is about one acre in size and for a nominal fee residents can rent a small plot of land and raise their own vegetables. Any vegetables not used by the garden members are then given to the local Food Bank to help feed the poor.
Community service = growth and development.
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST
I have also had the opportunity to write articles about other people who have seen a need and decided to do something about it.
I wrote about Stephen Ritz, an educator in Brooklyn who taught inner-city youths to grow sustainable rooftop and vertical gardens, and in so doing increased the graduation rate in that school. I wrote about the 9 Nanas, a remarkable group of women who raised money for those in need by baking pound cakes and anonymously giving cakes and proceeds to the poor. I wrote about Angela Prattis, a woman in Philadelphia who took it upon herself to offer free lunches to kids who were hungry during the summer.
What is the common link so very obvious in all of these stories?
There was a need and someone chose to do something to alleviate that need.
TIMES ARE TOUGH MY FRIENDS
And they are getting tougher. Maybe not for the top 20% of Americans, but the bottom 80% is definitely feeling the crunch. As times get tougher we see more distrust and fear, and the draw bridges are raised and it is every man and woman for themselves, and the sense of community goes the way of hula hoops and bell-bottomed pants.
Except in the instances I have mentioned and many more like them.
Do you live in a community? Most likely all of you said yes, I do live in a community, whether it be a large city, small town or just a village out in the country. But what does it mean to live in a community? Is that just a congregation of homes, or does it mean more than that? Is there….should there be…a sense of belonging and oneness? There was in the old days for sure. Back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, communities worked together, laughed together and celebrated together. They understood that they were only as strong as their weakest member, and the 3 Musketeers would have been proud of their community sense of all for one and one for all.
Yes, times are tough, but now is not the time to hide away in our little fortresses, ignoring the needs of others. Now is the time to build community and develop a bond. Now is the time to reach out to those in need, and if your government will not do it then it is your responsibility.
Do you not see that? Can you not embrace the wisdom in that statement?
Make the conscious decision to be a part of a community….a real community and not just a collection of lawn chairs and barbecue pits.
What can you do to be an active community member?
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
― Mother Teresa
Think about it!
A Moment With Bill
Join H.O.W. on Facebook
Humanity One World (H.O.W.) is a movement. We do not ask for donations. We simply provide a forum where people can discuss how to make this world a better place to live in.
Are you a member of H.O.W.?
H.O.W. WILL YOU DO IT?
I believe in Humanity One World. I believed in it enough to begin this movement and I believe in it enough to begin working on the book by the same name. But that is not enough.
I must believe in it enough to change that which needs changing. I must be a walking, talking symbol of H.O.W. If I see a need it is my responsibility to provide a solution. I cannot turn to the government and expect them to be the answer. For far too long our society has expected our politicians to be the solution to problems we caused. The time for that sort of backwards thinking is gone. If change is going to happen then it must happen because of me, and you, and you over there. It must happen in Topeka and Key West. It must happen in Philadelphia and Green Bay, and it must happen in Newark and Modesto. Small groups of determined people must be willing to step forward and be the instruments of change that they wish to see.
I am currently reading a fascinating book called “The Cultural Creatives.” In it, the authors, Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, talk about a new culture group that has arisen over the past few decades in the United States. This group of people, numbering in the millions, care deeply about “ecology and saving the planet, about relationships, peace, and social justice, about self-actualization, spirituality, and self-expression…..they are activists, volunteers, and contributors to good causes more often than other Americans.” The authors go on to say that once this new collective of people realize their numbers, their impact on America promises to be enormous, shaping a new agenda for the twenty-first century.
God I hope so!
I see it happening. I see it in my own town and I see evidence of it in towns across the nation. Slowly, like a butterfly emerging wet and shaking and then spreading its wings, I see more and more people embracing the concept of community. It fills me with…..hope!
We have lived through some dark days, and we have a few more in front of us. However, I refuse to give up hope. I believe in this country and I believe in its people. We have pulled together during dark times in the past and I see evidence that we are once again answering the call.
There are great needs and we are the solution. Will you join the rest of us Cultural Creatives? Will you join us in the H.O.W. Movement?
Will you be the instrument of change you want to see in this world?
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)