Sunday, January 28, 2007

What Martin Luther King's Legacy Means for Slow Life

Here in the Phinney Ecovillage in Seattle, our January Global Warming Meeting fell on Martin Luther King Day. So we explored the strategies that made the civil rights movement successful, asking which strategies would work today. What we remembered from the civil rights movement was its visionary and vital aspects. It was positive, even though there was so much suffering. As someone noted, Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream!” He didn’t say, “I have a complaint.”

What seemed to emerge from our conversation, over and over again, was: We need to make this movement exciting, joyful, and inspirational. The planet may be heating up, but we in America seem to be freezing over. Many of us feel that our jobs are a drag and that we’re too exhausted to do anything else at night. What we need is joyful community. People coming together for social change and at the same time spending time laughing and singing and dancing.

We concluded we need a Climate Change festival/party/carnival where we can generate hope and happiness. That, of course, is at the heart of “the slow is beautiful” life. In the “slow” movement we’re not just trying to change for our own interests, although that’s certainly part of it; we’re trying to bring about a major social change for the well being of people and the planet.

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