Here’s a follow up entry to the post we did a couple of weeks ago about the different terms we use to talk about this movement we’re creating. If you missed it, you can check it out here. This week, we thought we’d take a closer look at the next buzz word “resilience” and coin a new catchphrase. You can thank us later.
After everyone comes to understand that it’s going to be nearly impossible to take our current lifestyles and make them sustainable, we’re going to focus on making the communities that we live in resilient. A resilient community is one that can survive on its own in the face of extreme challenges. What would happen to your community if the price of oil spiked sharply and the constant caravan of trucks bringing food in suddenly stopped? Where would you get food after the three-day supply in the grocery store ran out? What if an earthquake severed the ancient pipe system bringing fresh water to San Francisco from Hetch Hetchy? Maybe at least then people would stop defecating in fresh water.
A resilient community doesn’t have to ask itself these questions because it can provide everything it needs on its own. This is the main focus of the Transition movement and its leader Rob Hopkins, and it’s a noble and achievable goal when you’re talking about a community in rural England. Unfortunately, this goal of resilience is a little bit more difficult to imagine let alone achieve when your scope is a major US city or even a neighborhood like ours is. The fact of the matter is true resilience might be outside of our grasp, and the profound departure from our current way of being that it would require makes it very difficult for us to understand how to even begin to move towards it. Growing a garden, supporting our peri-urban farms, getting our businesses on the right path, setting up a water cistern and learning to sew are all great steps to take, but they won’t solve the problem. Are we urban dwellers doomed to fight a battle we simply can’t win? I don’t think so. Rather, I think we have a leading place in the resilience movement, despite the fact that we will almost certainly fail to make our communities functionally resilient in the near term.
You see, a fully-formed resilient community does feature true foodsheds and watersheds, diverse local energy sources, and a complete array of skills and services amongst the populace. But these things are symptoms of the essence of the resilient community. The actual and original source of a resilient community is the mindset of the individual people who make up that community. Yes, resilience is locally providing for all our needs. But first, resilience is an attitude.
[Read more at the Wigg Party blog]