Committed to people
By David BeachHow often do you say that you love your home, your community, your bioregion? How many of you are planning to stay in Northeast Ohio and are determined to make it work, make it better?
The importance of love and commitment was raised in the closing session of the Sustainable Communities Symposium 2000 by Len Calabrese of the Catholic Commission on Community Action. He said, "I'm reminded of what Dr. Martin Luther King said about the most powerful force in the world being love, especially for non-violent social change. And it occurred to me that at a deeper level that is what we are talking about. We are talking about, finally, coming to grips with that, finally daring to learn how we can love each other and to say we can't keep running away, that at some time we have to make a commitment to build community and to risk the bonds of community, the responsibilities of community, and the relationships of community. So I think that's our challenge and our opportunity."
The hundreds of people who attended SCS 2000 showed that they were committed to Northeast Ohio. Around the region, there are thousands more people who love this place. They are working to sustain communities here. And they are increasingly mindful that we can't be sustainable here if our consumer lifestyles place unfair burdens on people and places elsewhere around the world.
SCS 2000 brought people together to develop a consensus agenda for making Northeast Ohio a national leader in sustainability. Three immediate objectives emerged:
The SCS 2000 planning committee is continuing to meet to carry on the work of the symposium. The focus is on reporting the results of the symposium (such as with this publication), maintaining the collaboration by providing Web-based information on future events and activities related to sustainability, continuing the dialog with future meetings, organizing an alliance of participating groups, and tracking our progress toward implementing the action plans of the symposium.
Everyone can help with this. Sustainability is an on-going process requiring leadership, optimism, and broad participation.
Proceedings of Sustainable Communities Symposium 2000
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...At some time we have to make a commitment to build community and to risk the bonds of community, the responsibilities of community, and the relationships of community. So I think that's our challenge and our opportunity.