We asked: What are you reading now that relates to your community work? What writings would you recommend to others involved in efforts like your own? What resources (books, articles, websites, people) have influenced your thinking and work?
Here’s what we got from some of our friends and neighbors.
From Anne M. Stadler
Neighborhood Resource Circle / Lake Forest Park Commons
Lake Forest Park WA
All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons, by Jay Walljasper
From John Pappas
Santa Rosa CA
Life Inc: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back by Douglas Rushkoff is a book I highly recommend to the Abundant community. Douglas was inspired to write the book after getting mugged on Christmas Eve outside his house. He was physically OK. Douglas posted the incident on his local neighborhood forum with his address. Most of the neighbors complained to him, “How dare you post your address!! Now our property values will go down!” At the end of the book Douglas recommends several practical resources such as CSA’s, shopping local, Freecyle, etc.
From Jeffrey Bordelon
We have been reading Community: The Structure of Belonging [by Peter Block], The Abundant Community [by John McKnight and Peter Block], Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change [by Don Edward Beck and Christopher Cowan], Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World [by Margaret Wheatley], Ken Wilber: Up from Eden: A Transpersonal View of Human Evolution and other materials, Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization [by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey], Peter Senge and so on.
From Jim Belcher
I have been leading classes at the local Holistic school on community building using the distinctions and questions from Peter’s book Community: The Structure of Belonging. It is blowing minds and connecting souls.
You probably know of Joanna Macy’s practices that reconnect. GREAT exercises in helping us reconnect with ourselves, each other and all species. www.joannamacy.net
Also, William McDonough’s Cradle to Cradle work fits well. He asks, “How can we love all of the children of all species for all time?” See William McDonough TED talk
Michael Nagler, The Search for a Nonviolent Future. Michael says the priority is to end our violence toward nature. He says that violence toward nature is directly connected to the crisis of meaning — I see this crisis in my college students every day: the blank stares, not sure why they are in college, no sense of purpose, etc. We’re working on purpose, values, talents, interests, possibility in all my classes. www.michaelnagler.net
Also, Break Through by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger. This book substantiates the notion that you can’t get to the universe of possibility by promoting more scarcity, limits and fear. In other words the environmentalism doom and gloom films aren’t and won’t ever be rallying, let alone transforming, the troops.www. thebreakthrough.org
From Dale Tremper
Travis Park UMC
San Antonio TX
Howard Zinn: A People’s History of the United States
Jeffrey Stout: Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America