September 20, 2015, Prescott- I spent this day alone. Tomorrow, and for almost every day for the next three months, I won’t need to be concerned with being alone. In fact, my aloneness has often been a good part of the reason why I have brought so many difficulties on myself, over the years. Penny brought me out of it; then when she passed, and I drifted back into torpor, various people came into my life and helped our son keep me on the straight and even.
“Development Comes From Within. The process of human and community development unfolds from within each person,relationship, family organization, community or nation.”- Four Winds International Institute
This second principle for building a sustainable and harmonious world correctly states that it is the individual who feels the impetus to build self, from inside out and from the bottom up. Without a determination to focus outward and concern myself with the needs of others, I would remain stuck- trying to live above my means, casting about to blame a chimeric force, bigger than myself, for all my woes and looking to an imaginary solution for those problems. Each of us is capable of a certain degree of good. It is towards that capacity that one best focuses.
Once a relationship is established, it is essentially either 100/100. or 0/0. For one person to do all the work in a relationship is the same as a sluggard, dragging thrice his weight in rocks, along the ground. I had to work at not trying to do it all. Fortunately, I had an exemplary partner in that, and most other regards. Only when a couple has this balance set, can a family successfully begin. Mother and father set a united front, and child(ren) have a clear sense of wiggle room. Family organization, even in the age of the nuclear family, or rather, ESPECIALLY in this age, is best set in stone, with room to expand outwardly, to grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins- clear up to as many generations as can meaningfully participate. Community is only as strong as its members can manage, through cooperation, due to recognition of several common goals, and despite differences of opinion. I was raised by a conservative, business-minded father and a liberal, civic-minded mother. The town was close-knit, first by neighbourhood, then community-wide. We did knock on doors before entering, once people from Boston started moving into the newly developed suburban “projects”, which in those days meant new, single-family homes, and there were no longer just the “old families” around. Neighbours minded each other kids, and everyone respected the Irish cop on the beat. Dad had a few men over, each weekday evening before dinner, and they would sit on the porch and solve the problems of town and state. The Town Meeting was held, once a year, and further discussions addressed key issues, almost in Athenian style. Things were accomplished.
The same is true at the national level. Too many unwieldy interests, motivated by entitlement, are pitting themselves against one another. My father told me to never regard the “other side” as an enemy, to be vanquished, but rather as a teaching unit, to which I do best to listen, and to expect them to listen to me.
The “what” and the “how” do not need to be at odds with one another, ad nauseam. Perfect is Good’s younger sibling, and needs the example borne out first.