good morning; a little dose of optimism; now is a time for action; I need your help! we all do; beneficent spirals all the way up
Good Morning Friends,
Most of you signed up for Seeking Tribe because you believe a more beautiful and meaningful future is possible. Several people have told me that they love my newsletter because it’s a little, distilled dose of high energy optimism in your inbox. I did not deliver on that this past Sunday.
I’ve returned to your inbox today to bring that energy!
I received a lot of responses to my last post—almost all of which were positive, although the most common descriptions of it were “brutal” and “haunting”. My hope was to illustrate where our future may go if we allow ourselves to be pacified by the complexity and overwhelming noise of our present moment.
The past few books I read emphasized the risks that we face and I wanted to briefly share a pessimistic perspective. As I referenced in A Little Dark Age Ahead?:
…I do concede that pessimists play a vital role in helping optimists to realize their visions. As my friend, Muhammad, put it, “Pessimism is always hugging you, protecting you from unnecessary risks.”
But there is no reason to despair. We have agency. The decisions that we make locally and interpersonally tilt us toward or away from the aforementioned dystopia—in our present and our future. A little shock may be all that’s necessary to refocus our attention.
Now is a time for action.
Students are working to rebuild their organizations after multiple semesters of limited activity. Motivated activists are working to ban no-knock warrants in their locality. Neighbors are coordinating to help their elderly neighbors to rake up their leaves and keep their backyard in a dignified state. I’m sure back at iZone (the innovation center I co-founded) there are dozens of students working to solve all kinds of problems, big and small.
Is there a problem in your local environment that you could help solve?
What about an ambitious, collaborative project that you’ve been keeping on the back burner?
Now is the perfect time to take the first step and I’d like to help.
I am currently designing a course on Community Leadership.
My plan is to keep it simple at the beginning. It will start as a series of highly curated, brief emails sharing information and frameworks designed to help you to refine and realize your visions.
My hope is that some of you will participate, give me feedback, and in exchange I’ll do my best to help you solve your specific problems.
A few topics that will be covered:
Refining your vision
Recruiting your first collaborators
Building an organization that can survive beyond your tenure
If you’re interested in something specific that is not mentioned in that list, do not worry. You can reply to this email with any questions or specific topics you would like me to cover. Likewise, if you sign up for the course, you will have many opportunities to ask questions and make requests.
The email course will be completely free.
In the future, it will likely morph into a more lucrative venture. But until then it will be a labor of love and hopefully help me to find more readers for Seeking Tribe and Lead The Future.
Jane Jacobs ended Dark Age Ahead on a positive note:
Vicious spirals have their opposites: beneficent spirals, processes in which each improvement and strengthening leads to other improvements and strengthening in the culture, in turn further strengthening and initial improvement…Beneficent spirals, operating by benign feedback, mean that everything needful is not required at once: each individual improvement is beneficial for the whole.
You’re capable of even more than you imagine. We all are. All of us deciding to take initiative to solve one additional problem within our locality and competency could cause a beautiful, beneficent spiral. We don’t know where this adventure might take us!
And don’t forget, as the Zoomers say, we’re all gonna make it. WAGMI.
Please share this post with your friends, family, students, neighbors, etc. In particular, I hope to reach a lot of students and ambitious, young people ages 15-26
Hopefully Grimes is in on this one too!