May 19, 2010

It Takes a Village to Save an Elephant.

We can start a Community Revolution!

My community is bigger than Boulder, bigger than San Francisco, bigger than America.

Every day, my worldwide community is expanding—and I am enthralled.

As an artist, a lover of life, a conscious consumer, I am sustained by this beautiful free flow of ideas, energy and storytelling. Derived from the Latin communitas (cum, “with/together” + munus, “gift”), real community is just that—a group of people coming together and sharing gifts with one another.

Born of integrity, trust and love, a strong community fosters learning and growth, where resources are pooled to build a better whole. We are more powerful, more valuable, more illuminated when we ban together as a collective force. I may be obnoxiously optimistic, but I truly believe that by creating these thriving communities, we will save the world. I know it sounds crazy, (like the finale of a Dr. Suess book, where all the Who’s join hands and sing together in harmony) but this sense of community is how we, as humans, began, and is integral to our survival.

It is the only way we can continue to blossom as a civilization, so it’s time to come full circle and commit to building our community every day. It’s time to start a community revolution!

Yet, in our techno-culture, a pulsing world where computers and Smartphones are progressively isolating us from true interaction with humanity, it’s difficult to break through the clutter to create the bond that we need for a revolutionary community.  In order to weave our worldwide web, we must transform and use this same digital communication to fuse connections and share our stories and knowledge with one another. I applaud Elephant Journal for fighting the good fight, leaving behind its print magazine and forging a new pathway into this strange and new journalistic landscape to create a community of enlightened writers and readers. It’s not easy, and we certainly can’t do it alone.

In fact, this type of beautiful and grand community, where we can share everything from breaking news to daily cycling tips to vegan recipes, is only sustainable with the help from its family members.

Think about it…for the first time in history, we readers expect quality journalism for free. Writers, teachers, designers, editors—artisans who in the past were valued and paid fairly for their well-chiseled craft—are now falling out of work. Free digital media has quickly killed the traditional journalistic business model—a combination of subscriptions, newsstand, classifieds and advertising—and all those who value of information and dialogue are heading into uncharted waters.

It’s all an experiment now.

Whether or not quality journalism remains intact is entirely dependant on how well our innovative community rises to the challenge. Let’s try something new. Be a part of the community revolution. Here at Elephant, we are proposing a new model, where the community chooses (yes—it’s your choice!) to support this groundbreaking experiment. You have a unique opportunity to be a part of the solution, and help to keep conscious journalism afloat.

So while it’s nice to get your name or business or favorite non-profit listed on every page of Elephant Journal for only $9 a month, it’s amazing to know that we are contributing to a community that enriches all of our lives and manifests a culture of sharing, storytelling and enlightenment. Together, we really can start a community revolution and save the world!

I’m in. Won’t you join me?

"Vastness" 24" x 48" by Rachel Znerold

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