Lynda Swanson    
 Stepping up in the new year3 comments
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3 Jan 2010 @ 04:55
Last year I bought an old motor home with the intention of donating it to a family in need of shelter. I contacted numerous churches and social service groups (not capitalized intentionally). They all had reasons why they could not do the same thing when I asked them if they could also contribute. Cmon people. I spent $2000.00 on this motor home. Believe it or not that represented my entire savings. Call it an act of faith. So why is it I am wondering why those folks that represent faith institutionalized, can not donate even a parking space in their parking lots for homeless people?
Yep, you guessed it; liability, aka LACK of faith. If it was not so sad I would laugh.
As it turned out, very shortly after I bought it, my youngest son became homeless and he is now living in it.
And so I would like to talk about family dynamics for a minute. The dominos of our lives (life domains) are arranged so that all touch each other and when they start to topple they can cascade woe onto us so deep we have a hell of a time trying to dig out. How do you prevent a minor castastrophe like losing your job from bringing down all your dominos? Today is so different from days past. Families are less interconnected and the communities that we live in share few of the characteristics that I call community that's for sure. You may not agree with my observations but you can put it to a simple test. When your mom and dad fell on tough times financially due to an illness let's say; what did they do? Can you do the same thing today? You're lucky if you answered that you too could borrow a few thousand dollars from your relatives to get you back on your feet. Personally, I don't know anyone who could help me out if I lost my job due to an extended illness. Few of us have the few months worth of savings that we would need to keep us afloat while we scurry about seeking a job, shelter and food. By the way, you can't get an apartment if you don't have a job. If you're living in a tent or a car while you wait for emergency shelter you're in a fast growing community of people who are facing the hard cold facts of life.
Now imagine being very young, let's say 18 or 19. There are many young people out there fighting for survival. Now there is another segment of the population who has never been homeless also needing the resources that they depend upon for survival. This is getting really ugly isn't it?  More >

As I poured though a site this morning that showcases the invention and ongoing styles of motorhomes,travel trailers and such, once again I realized just how stuck we are. It seems that during hard times socially such as war time, depressions etc. we allow our minds to take flight only to be grounded by the inevitable anchor of social regulations that we somehow lumber under.

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    Today's what if~ is this:
    What if we use THIS depression, this angst, this time of rebirth to go forward in a way that can not be regulated? What if we progress beyond where we felt the edge of our comforts in small bands to accomplish the leap forward without the two steps back?
    If we have truely evolved as a society, we can draw from our past almosts and establish real and meaningful change of our physical social structures. We can create the incubators of invention by becoming real pioneers again. Sure we have conquered the land from coast to coast. We did it a couple of hundred years ago. With that spirit came the burning desire to not be complacent under the yolk of the social norms that regulated our thoughts and deeds. So when did we give up? When we ran out of land and then set up carbor copies of the very communities that we tried to escape? We have been through wars and rampant unemployment and homelessness and hunger. Each time we rebound with new social direction and growth. This time what is happening? There are some big players out there trying to lead the way or at least to create the impetus to be strong and think bravely. We must muster our courage and find each other. Not out of fear but out of the desire to grow and flourish. We must act out of our own personal need to walk our talk and produce for future generations a legacy of more than the despair we seem to be sinking in today.
    What are your ideas? What do you have to offer? Do you have land that you can share to help establish a fertile community of people who's goal is to help light the way and find the answers?
    There are numberous Intentional Communities out there whose intention is to create ONLY US centers where there is little free think going on outside what is good for them. Get bigger, way bigger than that in your minds. How can we create centers that can train people wish to go into the alternative energy fields? Did you know that there are now only two technical training centers for the "new" wind generation movement on the entire west coast? One is in California and one in Washington State. Another is forming in Washington at Walla Walla Community College I hear. What better way to help young people get to work in a field that will be meaningful in the future?
    How about reaching into the past and training our youth how to repurpose discarded items such as furniture etc. Not only would we be keeping woodcrafts and other arts alive but we would be utilizing a skill that leaves a much lighter imprint on our resources. I feel that this will be more and more important as prices climb out of sight. Not to mention that it keeps jobs here in this country. We can retrain many people who are now a drain on our social service system that simply need to get back on track by finding safe housing and employment.
    I'll write more on this later. For now, I hope to hear a little from others out there who have a desire to help create answers to what ails us as Americans.
    Look forward to hearing from you.