Sunday, February 16, 2014

Community Organizing the Woman's Way


“What we need beyond anything  else, is a frame of reference, a model of cherishing care for the earth and all human needs. … Have we, then, another model? I believe we have. It is women’s unremitting care for their families and homes. “  Margaret Mead 1970

Mead argued that the way women work, their centuries of experience in homemaking  is a viable framework needed to save the planet. We know that creating thriving communities is key to our survival as a human family during these turbulent times.
Creating thriving communities means kindly nurturing what is alive within the community. This might be a new model for community organizing: a woman's way of organizing through nurturing.

Nurturing requires watchfulness, gentleness, being awake and discerning what is needed. Nurturing is continuous, responding to subtle changes in the community so that what is needed to foster resilience is created, discovered or otherwise manifested.

Nurturing requires intimate knowledge of the community, a feeling for the organism. Nurturing is focused upon the present being of the community  always looking beyond the present that the future may materialize.

Nurturing includes play and rejoicing, music, art, laughter and beauty. These create resilient community and are nourished by a resilient community. 

 Community resilience is nourished by good ideas, humor, events, plans, good conversation, random acts of kindness, and a welcoming presence.

Resilience is seen in community gardens, thriving farms, ride share programs, credit union meetings, and community owned cooperatives, neighborhood tool sharing, and all efforts that support the health, the wholeness of community.

Nurturing requires a view of the organism as it is -- a living interdependent whole greater than the sum of assembled parts. 

Nurturing requires that we hold the sum of our knowledge with respect. Science, common wisdom, direct experience all support our ability to provide appropriate care to nurture the resilience of our community.
Nurturing requires foraging for those things which the community is lacking whether it is water or microloans or a source of affordable nutritious food or shelter.
Community organizing is just doing what is necessary.
You know how to do this if your mama taught you how to care for your family. The same principles apply. It is time to fearlessly take on the work of nurturing your community how ever you see it. If not you, who; if not now when?