Remember in the 1960’s when music was the counterpart of social activism, during a time of resistance to war and civil rights? Remember when young people all around the US self-organized in their universities and became the driving force behind the civil rights and anti-war movements? In the first six months of 1968, more than 200 major demonstrations took place at 100 colleges and universities across the country, involving more than 40,000 students. People were active and involved. I often ask myself, where did that spark, fire and organization of young people in mass numbers towards issues that affect us all go?
Joan Baez playing in the March on Washington August 23rd. Photo from Scherman, Rowland, U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service. (ca. 1953 – ca. 1978)
Hundreds to thousands of concerts happen every week throughout the United States and I see most of these nightly events being a place for attendees to escape their mundane week, lose themselves for a night and feel a connection to music and something more powerful than themselves. What if the energy of people coming together for a common interest could be utilized to create change, movements and build community that extends beyond the night-out?
Live music photo from Mason Heler on Mason Country.
The problems we face today have surpassed controversy and uncertainty. We are seeing the effects of overconsumption and resource exploitation in land degradation and the endangerment of wildlife, ancient cultures and soil everywhere we look. It is time that everyone become part of the solution and make small changes within their local communities. It’s the time for those with a microphone in hand to empower their followers to become part of the solution.
One solution that encompasses the social, environmental and economic crises we face is Permaculture. Permaculture is a practical method of developing ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone. It is about designing ways to live in accordance caring for people, caring for the planet, and caring for the future as we design and embrace principles that cultivate whole-system earth stewardship.
Colleen Stevenson Graphics– The Principals of Living – 2009