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The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Sub Terra Vita: Chronicle #12—Stewardship & the Interests of Community

Sub Terra Vita
By Tim Krenz
August 10, 2015

Chronicle #12—Stewardship & the Interests of Community

Defining the Terms1:Stewardship: “the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something.” Community: “a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood);” or “a group of people who have the same interests.”

All politics is local,” said a late Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Thomas “Tip” O'Neill. All decisions of great importance made by power-brokers, money-men, generals, and legislatures, all reduce themselves to the consent, vote, or support of the women and men on Main Street, Everywhere.

From another perspective—the facts on the literal ground where we live—one can flip that axiom to arrive at another truth, not easily or willingly recognized: “Not all issues need to divide people; and not all solutions require government action.” In fact and deed, some purely local or regional issues—the Main Street understanding of interests—really give cause and opportunity to find common purpose, common identification, and common goals. Our first common understanding in this exercise comes in very familiar terms: The place we live, our home—the towns, villages, and cities of the St. Croix Valley. In reaching for the private, non-governmental solutions, we can find that bettering ourselves and our home area happen more through empathy and effort, for self and for others, than any action by government can provide.

First, we can lose all the labels and definition accepted or imposed on people by the systems which govern. No longer of partisan ideologies; no factions or religions; nor party, nor class; no arrogance of education or lack thereof; and no superiority privilege or entitled inferiority. In this very specific, grass roots level endeavor, one calls themselves “humans” or “citizens” of the St. Croix Valley.

Second, get rid of the word “activists,” for that implies some cause opposed to or opposed by something else, and often of value or detriment at the same time to many others. In this exercise, call yourself a “steward” of the community (see the definitions listed above). Third, take up a cause, other than partisan politics, or anything politically inspired or fired. Fourth, as government can at least do somethings tolerably well (short list), and somethings efficiently (sadly, like destruction and theft of life and property), leave government to its own resources. It has no place in this exercise. Instead, make the cause meaningful to self and truly helpful to others.

Examples of stewardship projects: a) Improve out-of-school opportunities for education (read: opportunities, not outcomes): Learn something or teach something. Document, especially in audio-visual media, yourself or some one else learning or teaching. Pass it onward. b) Start a local business enterprise. Or, join or start a private-sector group of others interested in investing in new, and local, start-up businesses. WARNING: Do not rely on any hoped-for or expected government subsidies, contracts, or private or non-profit “free money” grants. Creating jobs comes down to the hard Laws of Supply and Demand, to make a profit, while employing labor, for a capital base to expand. Stay shrewd. Back winners and innovative ideas. c) Improve the health, wellness, and nutrition of people. This includes everything from starting a new garden or food forest, to clean-up projects, to handing out bars of soap and cleaning supplies. All of these simple things, and many more, mean much when done with the empathy of stewardship and group effort, in the place that matters most: your community.

The Challenge: List what you do in terms of stewardship. Can you revise and improve your list? Add more? Or focus better on fewer things? It remains up to each individual to decide.



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