This doesn’t mean that the individual dissolves into the community as we have sometimes seen in Eastern cultures or that the individual’s needs override those of the community, as it tends to do in Western cultures. It is rather a new synthesis where the individuals uses their unique skills to contribute to the thriving of the whole and in return reap the benefits of what is created together.
This may be hard to imagine even on a small scale in today’s dog eat dog world. To my surprise I came across example of just this kind of development in a project called Conscious Community-Reno in, of all places Reno, Nevada! The startling aspect of this initiative was to bring what they call Spiritual Values to the forefront of the project by basing it on the five values of Love, Integrity, Courage, Service and Respect. Not very common in an American city or any city in the world for that matter !
They also point to the realization that if we want peace in the world we must cultivate it at home. “Be a leader on your street!” was a call that attracted some 2000 people to a project that is transforming their city. Using networks to find creative solutions to 12 common needs, like local economy, health care, culture, clean environment, family, homelessness and other concerns, the networks then connected to each other across functions and areas to expand the ideas that worked.
This fascinating video describes how the project started, what is important and what they have accomplished. “Start where you live” and then connect around the world – is their motto! If this experiment really evolves the qualities that will help us to survive and thrive, it may well go viral!
What a HOPEful thought for the New Year!