Do you favor the “prepper” approach of stockpiling goods, and protecting your own? Or do you think it we’ve still got some promise?  Do you believe the world is coming to end with climate change? Or are you on the “acclimate” side?  As far as government goes, have you pulled in a rock over your head and just given up, or do you get engaged in making change?  I don’t mean just sharing someone else’s idea on Facebook or Twitter?  Do you work for change in education, voting, politics, or other social programs?

  It is certainly tempting to give up and pull into our shell, but what will we find when we poke our heads out? Is it possible to keep the world at bay forever?  I would rather work toward a better future, where we remember how to get along, to discuss without profanity, even how to work together from different sides of an issue to make things better for everyone.  Food is something we all have in common. Whether it is available for everyone or just available to those who can afford it is fundamental to what is “fair.”  People tell me they don’t want to know where their food comes from because it makes them sad. Maybe if they knew where that food came from they would be mindful of how much they ate, and how those animals, or plants were raised. 

But working in isolation won’t get any of us very far.  I’ve been jumping up and down for years now trying to get people to look at different approaches, even if they aren’t right next door.  I am very pleased to see so many new “FB friends,” from other parts of the world,  or even just this country. I assume that means that they are interested in seeing how our approach will work. Is it just a pipe dream or is it a feasible approach?

When people first hear about our “fairgrounds” approach, one that revolves around farms and animals, they think we’re scatterbrained idealists with little grounding.  But after they hear more about the approach, broadening the user base, finding shared needs and figuring out how to share without interfering, and other basic tenets, they usually change their minds.  The fairground was a place of joy, energy, friendly competition, and a celebration of hard work and shared experience. Wasn’t that a good thing?  Shouldn’t it be a good thing for the future?

We are caught in a Catch 22.  We have many potential users, most of whom are broke or Yankee-doubters, who will support the program when it gets going. We have a building where we can start the “regular work” of commercial kitchen and arts programs, though as a rental situation.  But we have another potential building which would allow us to set up “the Hearth,” more like the fairgrounds, in another city nearby. But again, we are that point where “we’ll help you when you get the building,” but we can’t get the building without help.

If you are someone who sees the value in a positive approach, one that is different from previous ones, please help us.  If you need a place for local food access, for animal assisted therapy for autistic children or disabled veterans.. If you are like many young people who doesn’t know how to sew on a button, let alone judge high quality clothing, or make a meal without directions or a microwave, then send us a small donation.  Tell others about us.  It is important that we rally the positive energy, those who think that giving up, or waiting for things to get better, won’t solve anything, into a corps for the future.
Financial inequality is the way of things now. But it won’t always be, unless we continue to foster the “me first,” approach to life. Invest in the future of the planet, of our children, in North Country Sustainability Center. Prove that negativity is not an approach, it’s a surrender.  

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