Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sorry For The Inconvenience

For several months now I've had a picture from the front page of one of our local newspapers posted on my fridge for inspiration.

It's of an Idle No More demonstration held in downtown Nanaimo on a cold day in January this year, attended by hundreds of people.

What inspires me about it is the look on the faces of the people - proud, defiant, resolute, and happy.

Central to the photo is a young woman with her son, holding a sign that says, "Sorry for The Inconvenience - We Are Trying To Change The World".

And to me, that says it all. It speaks to my values, and to those in our cohousing community of Pacific Gardens.

It is inconvenient living in cohousing sometimes, but that inconvenience changes you, and in doing so, changes the community, both here and in the larger world.

I've written here before about the rock-polisher effect of living in cohousing - how rubbing up against other people and their views wears down your sharp edges.

That can be uncomfortable, especially when it forces you to learn things about yourself that you didn't know before. But it makes you grow.

The biggest sharp-edged rock we keep bumping up against at Pacific Gardens is the difficulty of doing what's best for the common good.

We've all been brought up in a society that tells us we should have what we want when we want it, even if it's at the expense of the well-being of others.

So often conflicts arise because although we want to change the world, we don't want to change ourselves, because it's too inconvenient and uncomfortable.

And that's why I keep looking at that photo, so I'll be inspired to change my own world, even if it is inconvenient.


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