"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau



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Monthly meeting: 27 Sep 2012 annual meeting

27 September, 6:30pm at the Jake Epp Library

This is the meeting where all Transitioners (at least all those who can) get together to talk about what we have done, and what we should do.

Many people are concerned about the impact our lifestyle has on others, both “others” as those living elsewhere in this world now, as well as “others” as future generations. They doubt that resources we take for granted and consume as if they are inexhaustible will still be there when our children and grandchildren need them.

So we have this concern, so what? So what can we, what do we, do about it? As individuals what we do will have little effect. If we wait for government, it is likely to be too late. But if we form a group, where we act together, we may be able to do something as a group that will make a difference.

There are, of course, already many groups that speak to our concern. Some names are very familiar to us: Greenpeace International, the David Suzuki Foundation, and Al Gore’s Climate Crisis initiative quickly come to mind. Some of my favorites are The Post Carbon Institute, the Center for the Advancement of Steady State Economy, the Carbon Tax Center and the New Economics Institute.

I appreciate the contribution all these groups are making to the conversation we all need to have about responsible living. Having said that, I may not agree with everything these groups do, say or advocate. Nevertheless, I think we need much more dialogue and knowledge about the ideas these groups are putting forth. We need to take the actions they are advocating.

But none of them focus on southeastern Manitoba.

In contrast to these large international groups, there are several intentional communities in the Southeast that focus very much on responsible living. In the southeast, I am aware of the Northern Sun Farm, the Prairie’s Edge Eco Village, and the Ploughshares Community Farm. Each of these communities is made up of people very committed to responsible living and who have concluded that responsible living can best be done in a community. I find their logic quite convincing and their gentle way of living commendable, but personally, I am simply not ready to commit to that lifestyle. I suspect in this regard many others are like me.

This means that we need is a group that brings together residents of southeastern Manitoba who share this concern about the way we live. The group facilitates conversations and allows for the possibility of group actions that will have a greater impact on our community than each of us acting individually. The South Eastman Transition Initiative tries to be such a group.

Currently the South Eastman Transition Initiative is lead by a steering committee consisting of four people. However, the initiative needs direction from a broader base. There is a need for people of like mind to come together, to evaluate what we have done so far, and consider what we ought to be doing down the road.