Thursday, September 20, 2012

Two events reframe the past for a better future

Two special events this week help us re-frame the past, better live in the present, and craft a better future.
Transition Barrie’s Family Harvest Festival this Saturday celebrates a movement that sees the inevitable departure from carbon dependency and plans for it by re-learning wisdom and skills from yesterday for use today. It works to build a more resilient community tomorrow where people provide for each other instead of depending on vulnerable global supply lines, where local food reliably feeds us, and simple tasks like gardening, mending or making clothing, or preserving food aren’t forgotten but are learned, used, and passed along.
Barrie’s Transition group has meetings all year around, with everyone always welcome to attend, but this annual fall celebration is the most fun and exciting. The site opens at 9 AM at Chappell Farms, where admission includes haunted & boo barns, petting zoo, corn and straw mazes, play areas, wagon rides, and a pick-your-own pumpkin for each attendee. Also enjoy Scales Nature Park’s special reptile display from 10 to 3.
Transition’s activities run from 1 – 7 PM and will include a corn roast with local foods at 5:30. Speakers will address sustainable community energy projects, using hemp char to restore soil and sequester carbon, and the benefits of adding pulses and legumes to your meals. Special guest Chris Philpott from Transition Leamington in England will share experiences from across the pond. Click here for more details.
Transition represents an organized approach toward a softer future, while the other event is the opposite, building on random acts of kindness. Called “Pay it Forward”, it stems from the realization that each of us benefits from others’ support and kindness in ways we can never truly repay. But instead of trying futilely to pay back that social debt, we can pay it forward, helping others in their time of need. This simple concept, dating back centuries or even millennia, often seems foreign in an era where so many selfishly obsess over the “secret” to accumulating personal wealth.
Courtesy of Wings and Heros, Charley Johnson, president of the Pay it Forward Foundation, will be in Barrie on Wednesday, September 26th sharing how paying it forward links the giver and receiver in a spirit of true happiness. After visiting local schools, he’ll give public presentations at the Army Navy Air Force club on George Street at 2:30 and 6:30 to explain the Pay it Forward bracelets he’s created and how they help people around the world realize that the best way of making yourself happy is by taking care of others.
Find out more here. Tickets are only $20, but free for families if you bring your children and a donation to the Barrie Food Bank.
Published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner under the title "Re-learn yesterday’s wisdom at the Harvest Festival"
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation

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