The reality of COVID-19 is sinking in. This pandemic is likely to be a long and drawn-out one. It also is reasonable to assume that it will not be the last of its kind. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see that critical public health messages are getting through regarding hand-washing, physical distance, limits on congregation and the need for self-isolation both as a preventive and recovery measure.
If one wanted to create a democratic and engaged newsroom the place to start is with what interests each journalist specifically. Find out what about their community is most important to them personally, what they care the most about.
For the last five years we have been seeking, and celebrating, educators who are committed to developing whole children, with continued integrity and agency to effectively use the competencies learned in school.
And, we have heard from several of those educators that it can be lonely work, with other teachers, administrators and parents comfortable with the way education has been. So, Benjamin Smith, Jennifer Wilson and myself wrote a paper called Generative Education as an evolving exploration of what we have seen and an invitation for those who would like to share a field of practice.
For several decades now, there has been widespread awareness that humanity is perched at the edge of a cliff, one step away from a plummet into global catastrophe. The responses have been many. But here we are, still teetering ever more precariously at the edge.
I recently participated in a nourishing 3½-day gathering of people dedicated to regenerative, life-aligned ways of living. Presentations and conversations swirled through topics like intentional communities, new land ownership models, evolution in consciousness, arts-based neighborhood activism, and more. At a few points, however, a quiet, courageous voice was raised to note that patterns of patriarchy and domination are still occasionally present, even within this well-intentioned, peace-loving movement.
Belonging is best created when we join with other people in producing something that makes a place better. It is the opposite of thinking that I must do it on my own. That wherever I am, it is all on my shoulders and that perhaps I would be better off somewhere else. The opposite of belonging is to feel isolated and always (all ways) on the margin, an outsider. I am still forever wandering, looking for that place where I belong. To belong is to know, even in the middle of the night, that I am among friends.
In the midst of the growing awareness of and innovation in thinking about the need to build community, the dominant practices about how to engage people, civically and organizationally, remain essentially unchanged.
This book is written to support those who care for the well-being of our community. It is for anyone who wants to be part of creating an organization, neighborhood, city, or country that works for all, and who has the faith and the energy to create such a place.
You have more power to achieve the changes you are after than you think. Not as much as you might like. But more than you realize.
The trick is to claim it. And not let the boundaries of that power be defined by others, particularly government.
How much should you claim?
The reflections of the last two blogs in mind, I’d like to share an ABCD practice I find really helpful in hatching possibilities from inside out. Or in coming to our senses. Please remember you don’t require all of your senses to engage. Helen Keller had three senses, yet led a more sensational life than most people with five sense ever do.
Jane Jacobs’ (an American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist who significantly influenced urban studies) advice to communities is to stop being subservient to those with grand visions and “Do what’s right for now and the future will turn out as well as it can.”
After 15 years of producing stories that contributed to change after change for the better, people still come to us with the concern that all we do in Generative Journalism is publish positive stories at the expense of facing reality.