Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 803: Community

This evening I had the pleasure of accompanying my mother to hear Bill Clinton speak. The crux of his message was two fold: primarily it was about moving forward into the future as a global community, able to tackle any and all obstacles by the power of interpersonal relations. Secondly, it was about the acceptance that everyone can be wrong sometimes, and that through the power of wisdom and intelligence, the acceptance of that fact makes us stronger as a people. Two overarching messages that apply across the board I believe. It got me thinking about how such a movement of bridging the gap of difference and building communities can start from something small. Take the example of Vermont Farmstead that we discussed earlier this week -- a creamery that was built upon the basis of a community in need of agricultural and economical stimulation in a rural area -- they took something small and turned it into something bigger through banding together as a people. What if we were to do that for all of our local farms or strive to at least? Where would we stand? 

Can we start at home by eating locally and getting to know our farmers, our cheesemakers, our bread bakers, our butchers, our winemakers, and more? 

As Alice Waters said in her book, 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering -- "Eating together was the most important daily ritual in their lives, a crucial and nonnegotiable time when the flavors and smells of roasted chickens and sizzling garlic, the crunch of crusty bread, and the taste of local wine drew out everyone's most passionate ideas and feelings."

By coming together to break bread and enjoy a meal, one is able to break down barriers. So lets start small -- get out there, get to know your local farmers, cheesemakers, bread bakers, butchers, winemakers and more. Create your own local community and lets see where we go. 

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