"The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off."

Gloria Steinem

Monday, July 1, 2013

Coming Together

I’ve just concluded a week in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and what a week it was!  From my presentation to the Norristown Municipal Council on Tuesday evening to my talk and book signing at Towne Book Center & Café in Collegeville on Sunday afternoon, the week was a flurry of speaking, listening (I learned a lot!) and, of course, selling copies of my book.  So, thanks to everyone involved in spreading the word, including Hank Cisco, The Norristown Rotary Club, The Norristown Preservation Society, Norristown Nudge and PK Sindwani at Towne Book Center.

Now it’s time to get back to what is important.  My biggest impression after my week talking with people in the area was once again how strong—and growing—is the local desire to improve the quality of life in local municipalities.  I was very pleased to hear that Norristown Nudge had been in contact with the Pottstown activist website Golden Cockroach.  I hope that this kind of communication will both broaden and deepen.  Both communities have much to learn from each other, and you are stronger together than alone.  When others join, you will be stronger still.  I’m honored to be a part of this, and will utilize my blog to both broaden and deepen my commitment to your cause. 

My blog, “The More Things Change…” now appears on the websites of both the Times Herald and the Pottstown Mercury, on twelve Montgomery Media websites, and on eight local Patch websites, so far.  I’m working on adding more.  As my blog has begun to appear quite recently in wider distribution, many of you may be encountering my approach for the first time.  I strongly recommend, in fact I implore you to visit my blog site (themorethingschange.michaeltolle.com) and read my previous posts in chronological order.  They will help you understand where I am coming from, and realize that my posts build successively on one another.  Future posts will make a great deal more sense if you do.  I will resume the subject development with my next post.  All future posts will be available on this site, whatever “this site” is to each of you. 

In recognition of this step towards my stated goal of linking many individuals and communities together in understanding their common problems, my posts will tend to take a broader approach to the subjects I have been pursuing from the beginning.  The subjects themselves will subdivide as we examine what are quite complex issues, but they will remain the same, the ones that resonate today.
My specific examples will continue to originate in Norristown.  I can claim some knowledge of its history, particularly since WWII; I can make no such claim about Pottstown, or Conshohocken, or any other community that may enter the discussion.  However, my oft-repeated thesis is that a great many local communities experienced the largely unwelcome effects of much fewer shared afflictions.  The names and the specific circumstances will certainly differ, but our goal is to achieve a deeper understanding of what actually happened, and why.  This is what I endeavor to provide: the shared historical context.  My contribution will be to put current issues into perspective (and perhaps suggest when history instructs what not to do).  The rest, as they say, will be up to you, although I will always be available to assist as I am able.

I’m going to leak the title of my next post right now, because it’s a question, and I would like you to give some thought to it before I explain what I mean and why I ask it.   

It’s a short question, but not an easy one to answer:

When were “The Good Old Days”?

Here’s what I mean:  When was your town a community, when the interdependent parts seemed to produce a social stability and at least modest prosperity?  When was “before things began to go wrong”?

It’s a single question, but it is addressed to you, you and you, and the answers will be different.  By comparing the differences we may discover what is actually the same.

Only a few possess the personal perspective to address the question directly.  They are your elders, and you should consult them before arriving at an answer.  They offer a perspective, and thus an antidote to the tendency we all possess to see the truly significant events as occurring in our lifetime.  Of course, always keep in mind that everyone’s memory gradually paints their pre-adulthood years in progressively more rose-tinted hues, theirs as well as yours. 

Those of you who have followed my blog or heard me speak know what I am getting at:  The “Good Old Days” may be longer ago than you think.