Sustainable communities evolve their patterns of living over time in continual interaction with other living systems, both human and nonhuman. Hence, sustainability does not mean that things do not change. It is a dynamic process of coevolution rather than a static state.
We have lost connection. We have minimal interaction with other living systems, human and nonhuman. Since the 16th Century Scientific Revolution, man has reduced the natural world to a mechanism to be controlled and manipulated for his own purposes. We have come, at last to see the shortcomings and shortsightedness of that world view. For it is becoming clearer that we, all living things are not only connected to we are interdependent. Capra’s systems view of “coevolution” is a positive only if we are evolving stronger, more resilient and interconnected communities. As we destroy the nonhuman, whether animals, trees, or mountains, so we make our own lives less.
The more we reduce our world to the workings of a machine, our sense of community withers and we feel alone. We become cut off from the natural world, each other, and ultimately ourselves.
What can be done to reclaim our community, our humanity? Charles Eisenstein observes in his book, Sacred Economics,
We have no community because community is woven of gifts.
But these gifts must meet real needs; that is, we must reconnect with each other, help each other and care about and for each other if we care to fulfill the goal of “sustainable community”.
Our Front Porch Initiative seeks ways to do just that. It consists of two interrelated, connected, and complementary projects: