What’s the most important issue facing people in the United States right now? For me it has to do with how we know the truth. I recently read an article describing a new app that allows users to produce “fake” pictorial information about anyone. I remember the phrase “seeing is believing”. Well, now any one can create a convincing image of someone doing almost anything with this app. When I align this with the new morality that it is “OK” to lie about whatever you please to “win” your point, I conclude that really you cannot believe anything for certain. Even when you see it with your own eyes. So here we are in what may be the most critical of times wondering where to put our time and money to produce some genuine good in the world.
Quite frankly, we have been struggling on how to best present our answer to that question as we ponder the content of our next documentary film. We have come to realize that when you put your time and money into your own community’s localized economy, then you can see for yourself the true results of what you have created.
Jack Reed and Michael Tellinger’s visions for the world cross our own in the key phrases that describe their work. Michael Tellinger has come up with a plan for how “One Small Town can change the world.” This plan is being put into practice by Mayor Ron Higgins in North Frontenac, Ontario. Our new movie will feature this project. The tag line for the project is the phrase “If it’s not good for everyone, it’s no good at all.” From Jack Reed we have this statement: “Among all the species, the choice is there for us, as humans, to fully embrace cooperation for the Highest Good rather than trying to dominate each other and the world’s resources”. He believes we need to “redefine wealth as use and access rather than as possessions”.
Most of us learn that life is about becoming competent at earning money. “Money makes the world go round”. Right? Naturally! That is the “way life works”. This approach to life has created what Jack Reed calls the “Everyone-for-themselves” mentality. And we also learn that if it doesn’t make money, it is no good at all! Making life good for everybody sounds like some Utopian dream. It is not. We have the resources and technology, but apparently not the resolve, to provide for everyone.
What a concept. What if our economy can actually support the highest good for everyone, rather than favoring individuals who have learned the art of earning money? Economists are saying that the present economy is in the process of decline and is destroying the environment. Technology is taking over manufacturing and service jobs. Yet each of us is responsible for working hard and “making a living”.
For many of us there is a true contradiction between having to make a living individually and contributing time and energy to ensure that every individual in our community thrives. When it comes down to it, there just is not time in one’s life to do both. This reality produces a society of Everyone-for-Themselves vs the Highest Good for All.
What if there is a way for local communities to be a primary instrument in creating another economy for the Highest Good for All? This is one of the themes we will explore in our new documentary film.