Hello and welcome to our summer edition of Northern Edge. We hope that this edition finds you in good health given the nature of our times. Many of us are continuing to work largely remotely to minimise the impact of our current health crisis on the population at large. This is also a challenge given that many of us may be missing our in-person relationships and opportunities to link up and connect. We are grateful for the technological advancements that make our ongoing work possible and hope that in time we are able to fully rediscover the joys of localising and gathering.
Given our current restrictions, many of us have been more immersed in family and neighbourhood life. Interestingly bicycle sales have rocketed as more and more people address health and travel issues whilst at the same time reducing their environmental impact. It appears that a localised future is dawning. The mainstream media suggests that the majority of people do not wish for life to return to the ways in which we were operating prior to lockdown. As we adjust to change we may be considering how complex the issues that we are currently facing are, but also notice that some of the solutions may be remarkably simple.
How do we ensure that we are not met with the same food supply chain issues we experienced in the recent past? One potential is that in time, as we recover from this virus, that we could start to work together in our gardens. By sharing skills and bringing fresher, non-toxic foods to our doorsteps, we are able to nourish ourselves and those around us. What kinds of values do we wish to support in our family and neighbourhood lives? We might want to reflect on how best to cultivate, healthy and genuinely beneficial relationships through which we collaborate to achieve mutual goals. We may also need to be mindful of the issues that have pervaded our dominant culture and consider how best we respond to aggressive, self-entitled and violent behaviours to ensure that these behaviours are discouraged.
We know that those who do not pay attention to history are doomed to repeat it’s mistakes. Here we are presented an opportunity to reflect on how to develop fruitful, functional local systems that ensure that power, responsibility and accountability remains in our neighbourhoods. For too long this has rested with councils, governments, corporations, the military and so on. Sadly, we know all too well how detachment from the immediacy of community can lead to increasing levels of corruption. If we are accountable to each other we are more able to address issues that arise directly. Between us, let us build this blossoming initiative in which we all have a significant part to play.