In my family, I’m the optimist and my husband is the pessimist. I think people are basically good, and he expects people to disappoint him.
Like Stephanie Tyree said in her blog, there’s a lot of that disappointment going around these days.
So he surprised me the other day when he said “Life is really interesting lately.” For him that’s a shout of joy from the rooftop.
The source of that interest is something we started back in October which has become Mid Ohio Valley Climate Action.
As part of my work with What’s Next, WV, I connected with Jim Probst, famed furniture maker and samurai climate activist, who seemed to have some answers to our angst about what to do about the coming climate armageddon.
We invited him to the statewide Quaker Gathering, then to two meetings in Parkersburg last October for which 50 people turned out. A scant four months later, we have an explosive Facebook page, made public presentations that have been well attended, met with our local TV and newspaper who have given us lots of media coverage, mounted letter writing campaigns, have 10 committees all chaired by different volunteers, and have created a dynamic learning community around the critical issue of our time.
We’re collaborating like gangbusters across the river with Marietta, OH. We are inserting ourselves into the local political process through meet the candidate forums, and the Parkersburg five year plan, and Rep. David McKinley is asking for people’s opinions on climate change for the first time.
Parkersburg and Wood county haven’t changed much in the past four months, but what has changed is our realization that we are surrounded by scores of citizens like ourselves who are hungry for a vehicle to express their highest aspirations and passions for this place and this time.
While I still despair when I see the news, I am buoyed by the daily deposits of my friends and neighbors to my “unreasonable optimism” account.
We’re becoming news. We’re not bleeding, we’re leading.