Friday, November 7, 2008

The writing on the wall

The dust has settled in the hamlet of the cats. As we approach a new regime in local political circles the question lingers: Is this the community that I want to pour my heart and soul into?

The kids, furniture, big mortgage demographic ponders this question right along with me. Perhaps I should preface this group by adding yet another adjective to that demographic: well traveled/big picture. The group I refer to is my social group of parents that share a proclivity for urbane humor, well-read minds , traveled and "experience of the world " mantras.
This matters because???
It matters because the value that levels the playing field for this age demographic is how we choose to actively engage in our community. The end result distilled down to a community that represents who we are, what we value, and the stewardship of these items. If the people at the helm bear little resemblance to my core community values and group than the question begs: "why hang around?"

I have been blessed with an ability to create community where ever I go. The equation is simple, not top secret and easily adapted to individuals who can grasp and execute on the following:

1. Put yourself out there. Care and show concern in a proactive manner.
People who "get it" will get you.
2. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Curiosity is the cornerstone to a creative life.
Question anything that seems off, odd, staid or just plain stupid.
3. Invite people to dinner. Yes, even if you are not the most adept at entertaining remember that practice makes perfect , and people genuinely appreciate the effort.
4. Conversation is a lost art...knowing my neighbors has helped me cement my current views, helped form new opinions, was a ton of fun along the way.. Great local Pinot Noirs haven't hurt the conversation piece either.
5. The idea of putting down roots is like re potting a plant. If you don't like what you experience, you can always re=plant and try again.
6. Be brave. The world has become exceedingly complex. So be brave- or stay home in your pj's.

The beta test for me was this recent election. If my social demographic can't embrace the stewardship and ideals of preservation coexisting with careful development than perhaps it's time to seek out a new community. One less white, less wealthy, and less insular.
I know this is broad brush statement but it is a factor.
Sometimes being curious and a conversationalist with a cause hurts. Sure beats whinging about how things never change.

Thanks for the catalyst Los Gatos. It was just what I needed. Change is just what I need.

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