Examining the state of our nation right now can lead someone to be very fearful.  I wonder what the future will be like for my family, the country and the nature that shares this planet. But it’s not enough for me to conserve what I have, look out for my own, and hunker down.  Everything that I have learned teaches me that by sharing our knowledge, pooling our resources and pulling together will be the winning ingredients to a healthy, sustainable future.

                Sustainability has become a euphemism for the economy, for energy, for the environment; but if it has to be more than that.  If we are going to create a truly sustainable world, we have to revive the very skills that got us this far.  Most people believe that is a self-reliance ethic, to the point of being a “prepper.”  But if we only regard our immediate families in our planning, we ignore the tasks ahead, those of repairing roads, buildings and the infrastructure that has degraded over the years. “Conventional prepping,” also ignores the biological fact that humans are social animals, needing a diverse community in order to thrive.  We need to revive our culture, not just survive a calamity.

                Be a revivor, not just a survivor.  Survivor indicates a sad circumstance with daily struggles. Revivor conjures an image of hope, vigor and affirmation. That is what is needed to make a strong, vital future.  And contrary to the thoughts of many, those self-reliance skills have not disappeared, nor has the sense of community.  It just has gotten buried under a blanket of self-centeredness and convenience. The skills reside in the minds of our seniors and those who have been gathering those skills, and most would love to share. With income leveling out, and pensions dwindling, why not pay our talented neighbors to teach us their skills and knowledge.

                For many, like those of us Central New England, we cannot limit ourselves to our own town limits. Even in the earlier years of our nation there were very local settlements that people might visit daily, and there were those a bit further away. Those were usually with less than a hour’s wagon ride, so that feed runs could be made, or goods taken to market, and still have “daylight to burn,” upon return.  And then there “county seats,” and “towns,” that were a day’s ride away, but might be visited monthly or so. These were the major markets, the department stores and major government centers. There was enough there to make travel worthwhile because a whole day’s work was lost in traveling there.

                That same type of “local” makes sense again, in a world where fuel is expensive, both in price and in consequence.  It also increases the opportunities for people to expand their small business markets, to make friends where they might not have met before.  Living local doesn’t mean staying home. It just means looking at true costs, and finding alternatives where possible.

                We can revive our local community, economy and healthy environment, if we work together.  That’s what we’re working at North Country Sustainability Center.  Please show your “Revivor Spirit,” by donating a small amount to our operating and building funds so we can thank you with a sign of our gratitude. Want to see the “Thank you’s?”  Check out www.northcountrysustain.org/Revivor.html.