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Different journeys in the same direction

Hens

Transition is all about diversity, inclusion, and community. Photo: Rachel Coleman Finch via Flickr.

A recent move brought me close to an old high school friend. Sue and I are both concerned about our food supply, produce gardens and preserve much of our own food.

I live on a rented farm site, where I’ve planted an orchard and range chickens and geese for meat and eggs. My old farmhouse still has a root cellar in the basement, and we’ve installed a walk-in freezer in the barn.

Sue lives in town, has a vegetable garden, and shops the local market fair for additional food. She not only purchased some of my chickens, but she and her husband Rick also came over to help with the butchering.

Energy in common

We share a concern about energy security.

While I’m planning a spring Resilience Fair in our barn, with an instructor for a do-it-yourself workshop on how to build and install your own solar panels, Sue is canning her chickens because she doesn’t think we can depend on electricity to run a freezer. She and Rick are preparing a 2-year food supply that’s independent of the energy grid.

Even so, we’re teaming up to share what each has to offer, to learn together.

Sue and I have adopted a pattern in our relationship that could certainly have emerged from engaging in Transition. It’s based on building relationships and a web of support to increase resilience. Not just for ourselves but also extending out into the network of our communities.

I’ll be your mirror

There are important differences between us as well. Our motivation for engaging in these activities couldn’t be further apart.

Sue doesn’t believe in what she calls the “myth” of climate change. And she’s not interested in the peak oil conversation. She follows a couple of conservative talk show hosts and does what she does because of what they’ve forecast for our economy.

The outward signs of my life read much the same as hers, but my motivation comes from concern about environmental degradation, energy scarcity, and the economic implications of both. I’m progressive and listen to public radio.

Yet Sue and I can work side-by-side because we’ve taken the time to listen to each other, to learn about and understand our different perspectives. We’ve chosen not to argue the details, but to welcome each other to the work that aligns to address our shared concerns.

A big tent

In the world of Transition, we’re all motivated to work together as communities to build resilience, honor diversity, be inclusive, and enjoy ourselves along the way. Does our definition of diversity extend to include those who don’t think like we do?

Transition is all about relationships—building a web of connectivity among people to build community resilience. That includes everyone who wants to be a part!

– Patricia Benson, Transition Voice

Transition US logo One in a series of monthly columns from Transition US, a non-profit organization providing support, encouragement, networking and training for Transition groups in the United States.

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