Changing the World
Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Afterword
A Vision of a Circleway Village
Hope. We all want hope. When I talk to school children and college students, I am struck by how happy they are to get a feeling of hope from such an old guy. They really want to hope. But the fact is a lot of people feel powerless, have a sense of hopelessness. But I am assuming that you, like everyone else, want to have hope.
And most of what I see people working at to try and make a difference do not seem to be effective, or are effective in only a very small area. I don’t want to delude myself into thinking that my efforts will achieve wondrous results.
But am I really powerless? Are you, are we? When I think about it I can see I have more power than I realize when I am alone. We all have more power than we realize. My power comes from you. Along it is a real struggle, but I am not alone. We are not alone. We have each other.
Probably you have heard that quotation from Margaret Mead – it’s worth repeating and remembering: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, dedicated citizens can change the world, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
My power is a function of my connecting with you. When I open my heart and mind to you, you also feel your power in the places where we feel and think alike.
I want to tell you that we are not alone. Wherever I go people come to me to say they have read my books or my newsletter or heard me speak, and they have to tell me they agree. Usually that they are relieved to find someone else thinks as they do. I get letters every week from all over the world. People call me on the phone from India, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan. One man read my book in Japanese and got on a plane to fly here to New Hampshire to talk to me – even though he didn’t speak English!
We have a history already. Although the spread of civilization conquered most of the old tribes and tried to eliminate them, most have survived in some form and many began to revive their ancient heritage in the last century. The tribal desire to live together in small communities is evident in the religious communities that continue their missions of service to common ideals, and in new communities that continue to appear and spread. Many communes from the 1960s still exist quietly and communicate through various networks. The co-housing movement has spread from Denmark through most of the western world, and the Global Ecovillage Network continues to grow. My oldest son, Tokeem, was born thirty years ago (1976) in a tent in a hippie commune, The Farm, which continues to thrive and give outreach service to others in need. My wife, Ellika Lindén, has kept a home since 1979 in Christiania, a free haven of 900 people within the city of Copenhagen, from which we base the summer outreach for our camps in Europe. Since 1992 I have been closely connected with the ZEGG community in Germany and since their founding also with their sister community Tamera in Portugal, with a network of people who are dedicated workers for peace and non-violence, for the environment, and allies to young people and indigenous people throughout the world. You will be able to read about all these communities and networks when I complete the book I am currently working on, to be called Have You Lost Your Tribe?
Meanwhile you can read about the older ways of my people in my book Return to Creation, about how to make circles and their care in my booklet The Circle Way, and about how we bring circles into the prisons in another booklet Ending Violent Crime. And you can read other articles in the Talking Stick Newsletter.
Currently there are people, inspired by the Circle Way International Camps in Europe, who are searching for land in various countries where we might be able to pioneer our first Circle Way Village. You can follow that progress and connect with them through the website. And of course we are eager for your thoughts, your feelings, your encouragement, your companionship, and your energy in any way you would like to share with us. Because, of course, we are all us.
We need to get closer. You and I – all of us. We need to take back control of our lives, our society, our earth. We need to communicate and open our hearts and minds to each other. We need places on the earth where we can get closer to each other, to our families, our children, to be safe, to relax and slow down and get away from stress, to live simply without harm to others or to the earth, to play, have fun, create, get close to the natural world,. Without having to join any religious or political movement, follow any particular tradition or creed, but allow and respect and appreciate all the diverse ways that others engage in. It is such a beautiful world we have been given, we are endowed with such fantastic capabilities, and ever baby born is a miracle, a delight, a shining star of hope for the future.
Folks, we need to start getting it together. Now. Come together, Talk with each other. Connect with me while I’m here. I’m 76 years old now, and I want to see your children ushered into a glorious new world of possibilities before I move on.
You know what I always say:
Together, there is nothing we cannot do.