Apsects of Building Healthy Community and Peace

Commnities are complex things consisting of people interacting in a vast array of circumstances. Critical to healthy community is healthy individuals - psychologically, spiritually, mentally and physically. If we have healthy individuals, then to achieve healthy community, it is important that our interactions be nurturing, positive - ultimately, loving. Such interactions as these can be brought about by educating individuals on conflict resolution and mediation techniques. They can also arise partially by design - the arrangement of our homes, our modes of travel and of trade, and our methods of governance and justice.

Healthy community, therefore, is not a trivial subject to contemplate, but, rather, is rich with insights and possibilities for improvement. The information posted below touches upon some of these topics. In some cases I make reference to “doing something drastic”. This idea relates to a comment made by Ted Turner who is quoted to have concluded, upon realizing the severity of our degrading environmental conditions worldwide, that “unless something drastic happens, the Earth will become uninhabitable by the year 2005.” Ted’s drastic response entailed beginning to buy up as much land as possible and remove all traces of human existence from them, and to fund other environmentally-progressive and restorative projects through his Turner Foundation grants. Yet, depending on our place in society and our abilities, taking drastic action can manifest itself differently on a variety of fronts.

Transportation issues
PSU biology professor Chris Uhl wrote this insightful article dispelling myths about auto-related issues . Many of us know Chris from his work on the Penn State Indicators project and his vocal stance on a variety of key environmental issues, particularly the local ones which are well within our jurisdiction to change.

Economic issues
Paul Hawken, noted businessman and author of The Ecology of Commerce wrote this insightful article about his experience at the WTO meeting in Seattle . By taking his stand with the public and sharing the teargas experience, Hawken is, in his own way, “doing something drastic” to try to bring about much needed change for the better.

Political issues
“Granny D”, at age 89, has taken up the challenge to “do something drastic” to bring our attention to the critical need for political campaign finance reform . Her compelling speech in Morgantown, West Virginia shames us all into realizing how much more action we should be taking on many issues of great importance today.