Gifts

Beware the Invasion of the Needs Surveyors

A friend whom professionals call “disabled” says, ”If you’re coming to help me, you’ve come to the wrong place.  I refuse to fill your need for needs.”  It’s his wry recognition that many people have jobs that depend on...

Repairing Community

In my ancestors’ native Scotland, there were people who were exiled or outcast from their clan.  They were called “broken men.”  They faced a sad destiny wandering the mountains and moors without a community of support or the protection...

If You’re Not Fast You’re Food

This is a bit of a rant, so forgive me. I received an email advertisement from The Timberland Company. The ad said, “If you’re not fast you’re food.”  Gulp. Timberland sells shoes and outdoor accessories. I know them a little and...

Are We Raising Care-less Children?

A powerful community depends upon its members’ willingness to step outside themselves and stand in the shoes of their neighbors.  A name for this ability is empathy. It is the essential bridge that changes the person next door from...

Kibble and Grist

Thoughts from and to the community-minded . . . Wendell Berry has spoken clearly and for such a long time about the ways industrialization and the consumer economy have caused the breakup of families, farms and communities. This quote gets...

Sunday Sermon: The Abundant Community

...open the door, go out and have conversations. Recently I was having a conversation with a pastor from a local church, talking about our annual fundraiser for our community park. He had asked if there was anything he could do to help....

Breaking Barriers to Neighborliness

I have a friend who makes lists of barriers to neighborliness.  His list includes the new ranch houses that don’t have a front porch where neighbors can sit and talk and greet each other. Air conditioning is also on his...

Summer Break Is upon Us

As schools throughout the country cut back, there are new possibilities for neighbors to become a "village that teaches a child." One of the most inventive people engaging neighbors as producers is Ray Thompson. In his July 2010 blog...

Art in Community

The Democratization of Art I just spent two days at a conference on education reform. While the agenda was to discuss schools and the ways students learn, what was unique about this gathering was the role that art played in...

The Art of Neighboring

In North Port, FL, a relatively new community, Don Vande Krol felt he needed to know his neighbors. He distributed an invitation to them to join him and his wife for a "getting to know one another" evening.  From...

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Radical Economics: Centering Indigenous Knowledge, Restoring the Circle

The article below concludes Nonprofit Quarterly's series—Narratives to Build Collective Economic Power—which NPQ is publishing in partnership with the national racial...