As I was searching around for a few examples of positive visions of the future, I happened to visit Dixiebelle’s facebook page as I do on occasion. She left me two wonderful videos that show the very future that I was talking about. For those hard of hearing, you can enable closed caption text on both of these videos.
The first is by Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics. It is his enlightening vision of the future.
The second video is a vision of what a post-consumer society could look like. It is title Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth.
These are two very good examples of a positive vision of the future. But it can’t be all beer and skittles. We are daily bombarded with messages of doom and gloom however, hope is a more powerful motivator/driver than fear ever is. It motivates individuals and communities to do and achieve amazing things together. Sure, fear does have a part to play when initially learning about the two big issues we face, but they must turn into hope, or we wallow in despair and depression. Let me borrow a few paragraphs from the Transition Handbook to drive the point home on why we need to be realistically hopeful;
“The end of the Oil Age is a confusing time. We are constantly exposed to bewildering mixed messages. The media presents us with headlines such as “Steep decline in oil production brings risk of war and unrest, says new study”, and “Carbon output rising faster than forecast, says study” yet at the same time advertising puts across the conflicting message that business as usual is the only way forward, that globalisation is the only model that can feed the world, and that just buying this next thing will make us happy. Indeed the contrast can sometimes be striking, with an article about the melting of Arctic ice-sheets next to an advert for a new car or cheap flights.
The media to which we are increasingly exposed continually give out double messages,
which can leave one feeling perplexed.”
It is so true. To overcome this fear, or doom and gloom mixed with a consumerism dichotomy, we need realistic hope combined with a positive vision. This is a very powerful tool that can be used to break this confusion. We need to begin preparing as well as projecting this future. I personally am totally engaged by the Transition Handbook, and am nearly finished it, and then with look for a copy of the Transition Companion which is a more up to date text. It has so many brilliant ideas, which have been at the back of my mind. Our town certainly needs this type of initiative as it is about as resilient as a chicken house surrounded by foxes with the door slightly ajar! No local food, poor public transport, no local economy, however there are many strong community groups and a sense of community among the older folk. To quote Bec;
“It can be hard staying positive at times, and things like that keep me going… there are lots of great ideas like that out there. Not about “what have I done”, or “how good am I”, but from the perspective of “look how great humanity can be, look at what we can achieve for a better world”… together!”
She certainly has a way with words. Worth their weight in gold, if you ask me.
Thank you Gavin! In my daily life, I am exposed (or expose myself, rather) to a whole array of messages that I chose to read/ watch/ listen, and yes, some of those are ‘doom & gloom’, but many are positive, inspiring and enlightening. The ‘doom & gloom’ sometimes overwhelm me, and I feel angry or bitter or hopeless. But a lot of the time, it motivates me to get on with it. Get on with our plans to be prepared for an uncertain future. Will the skills we are learning, the equipment we are acquiring, the gardens we are building, the attitude we are creating… will any of it be of help to us, or our children, or their children? I don’t know. What I do know is that we enjoy all the projects, and community groups, and research we take on. Our urban homesteading, our being prepared, our eco & ethical living… they all go hand in hand, and if they can help us in the future, great, but right now they have such great benefits. So, instead of focusing on the doom & gloom (or ignoring it, or putting a glossy spin on anything) we pretty just get on with the everyday tasks at hand, adding projects & taking on challenges when we can. We try to see it as an opportunity to build a better future & show our kids there is a different way, but also try to prepare them to be able to handle hard times too. Are we perfect? No. Are we boasting about how awesome we are? No. Just hoping what we do might help others out who are on the same journey as we are, or encourage people to start their own journey too!
Gavin Webber says
But Bec, we are all awesome in our own special way. 😉
Seriously, I couldn’t agree more. See the wonderfully cheery animation I just posted on the TGOG facebook page. I wish they would make these things with more solutions at the ending. I know they mention some for about 2 minutes, but they really need to expand upon them to brighten up the positive vision. Kind of left me in a bit of a downer!
I just found your blog thru Yarra Valley Permaculture newsletter. I have bookmarked it as I like what you write. I enjoyed the video links above and have sent them to my facebook and email list. I have some friends that have asked me “what is Occupy Wall Street” all about? Well now we all know. Thanks for that.
Gavin Webber says
Thanks for dropping by Dayla. Could you please send me a copy of the newsletter, as it sounds interesting. email address is on the sidebar.