November 9

Neighborhood is the New Wilderness

I have to say it again: Neighborhood is the new wilderness. Love that. Wish I’d said it myself but I didn’t. I do want to go to the neighborhood wilderness though: build a little cabin . . . off-grid, wood stove, birds and animals, my sweetie.

No I heard the phrase, almost in passing, day before yesterday from Peter Block in a little “workshop.” His book Community: the Structure of Belonging was so important to me when I first encountered it ten or so years ago. The book is about imagining a future that is distinct from the past. At heart it’s about a new kind of conversation, one we haven’t imagined yet.

I’ve not been hosting calls since Covid began but am keen to explore this with others.I’d love it if some others feel like joining in with me.

I’m hosting a 90 minute workshop coming out of this work and my experience with it this Thursday at 11am Eastern – Collective SenseMaking – Participation. It’s free and you can click here to register.

Buckminster Fuller famously said that to change something you don’t fight the existing reality, you build something that makes that reality obsolete. That’s another way of saying a future distinct from the past. Peter’s work is the best way I’ve seen how to do this! .

The opposite of the existing reality is to make friends out of the strangers in the neighborhood. Being amazed and very happy to learn that our unknown neighbors have deep dreams and talents and gifts just like us. And big hearts just like us.

The new “getting to know you” is also the new activism. It’s the revolution, the one that’s been dreamed of for so long. It’s not about overthrowing evil tyrants. They can fall in their own time. In the meantime, we can do our own work

Could we have the great rest instead of the great reset? Yes, but not yet. Freedom takes time and practice freeing ourselves. It takes something besides fighting the enemy.

The Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for 430 years before they left and then they were 40 years wandering in the desert before they made it to the kingdom. The people weren’t all united on leaving and of course, the Pharoah didn’t want them to go. Seven plagues fell on Egypt while the Pharoah said no but finally he had to let the people go. We already have many of the plagues falling on us. How long before we leave the consumer culture that is enslaving us?

Come join this small group conversation on Thursday at 11 Eastern time. We’ll practice making the polarization obsolete and welcoming strangers and each other. We are using zoom (maybe practice local later). We’ll be in groups of three and then together reflecting on what we’re noticing. It’s free to join.

If you CAN’T make it but get the idea, share this email with a friend and copy me. Friends can join my mail list at AndrewMacDonald.net.

We’ll do some other free experiences. Later there’ll be a closed group that will give opportunity for a mutual social field that can support all of our deepest dreams coming true. If any of this appeals to you, take a wild risk and jump in for something different  this Thursday. 11am Eastern, 4in the UK, 5 in western Europe, etc.

This is an exciting seed of a new direction. Feel free to jump in even if you’re not sure what I’m raving about. The new wilderness is under our nose but we so often miss it. Hope you’ll join us and see what can happen for you. ​


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