We are living in a Transition Moment. To those of us who are resilience-minded, this shock to our globalized economy and society, and its ripples in our local communities, did not come as a surprise. We may not have known what form it would take, but we knew it was coming. We have been preparing for years, and now is a time when the skills, the processes, and most of all, the stories and spirit of the Transition Movement and the many other community resilience-building efforts are so needed. Our focus on positive and practical solutions and our vision of a future that is simpler, yet more joyful, abundant, and connected, is medicine for the human soul in these challenging times.

Humanity has a common cause, and a noble one at that: protecting the most vulnerable–both physically and financially–in our society. We are seeing a surge of compassion and solidarity spring forth from balconies in Italy, apartment buildings in China, and community discussion forums around the world. Despite physical isolation, many of us are feeling more connected. We are taking time to check in with our neighbors and reconnect with family and friends, often over video calls or by awkwardly standing six feet apart.

In my own community, a small town in rural Colorado where many people survive paycheck-to-paycheck, neighbors are creating mutual aid networks, gardeners are organizing to plant extra food plots on vacant public land, and local restaurants are teaming up with local farmers to provide nutritious food to those who need it most–including children who rely on school lunches. Just writing this brings tears to my eyes. And all these good deeds are happening spontaneously, by people taking action into their own hands and doing what is needed, rather than by waiting for our government to act. This is what we call “hope with its sleeves rolled up.” This is Transition.

At this moment, we have an opportunity to influence the narrative in our communities, our country, and around the world. When the immediate danger of the global pandemic passes, will we go back to business-as-usual? Or can we start planning and organizing NOW, while the fragility of our dependence on a globalized economy is so obvious, and people are craving alternatives that build local resilience? Can we share projects and resources with our friends and neighbors to explore during the extra time they now have?

This is the time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work. It is time for us to rise beyond our fears and limitations and step into humble and collaborative community leadership. It is time for us to show the world our vision of a better future, and to share the tools we need to start building it. We are living in a Transition Moment, and it’s time for us to make the best of it!