Sustaining Hope ... and Each Other

Michelle Colussi's picture

At our check-in for the last Transition Victoria Initiating Committee meeting, members talked about what they were getting out of participation in the Committee. We were thinking about our almost 2.5 years of twice monthly meetings, a desire to meet less often, and sharing with the 3 new members who had joined us for their first meeting. The answer was clear: hope.

No matter what might be happening for each of us, we can count on a listening ear, a hug and a sense of purpose. There is optimism in collective action. There is hope in having our perspectives broadened by others views. Together, we are less daunted by the complexity of our challenge. We are inspired by each new idea, partner or project.

And we are equally inspired when we learn from things that don’t work! Our recent efforts to transition from the Initiating Committee to a Core Group, for example, failed miserably. (See my article about Totnes for more about steps in the growth of a local movement.) structure of  We have all barely survived it, but we are digesting the lessons and implications for next steps. We are moving forward. I see that some of the US groups are in this process right now, and it is helpful to hear about their experiences and know we are not alone in struggling with this step.

On the bright side, struggles and failures lead to new inventions and that can enrich the whole movement. Can we start to build a stronger, more sustainable movement in Canada if we find practical ways to share with and learn from each other between transition groups? Perhaps our notions of building a Transition Canada can be realized if we build on the strength of what is going on in each of our towns – and the strength of our collective hope.

There are over 20 Transition Towns across Canada today, and lots of other groups who are working toward that goal by hosting presentations, trainings (like in Drummondville, QC and in Woodbridge, ON), or other events. They are inciting hope through their positive visions of the future, their attention to personal or inner change and their efforts to build alternatives – to make change visible. If you are one of these groups, please share with us what is working well for you, and what is not. What do you want to talk to others about?