Interdependence Day: Living Locally

Fourth of July is a big day here in the US. It marks the day in 1776 when the Americans threw off the Brits, and declared independence. Parades, fireworks, barbecues, family reunions, fairs, and all manner of festivities take place, in celebration of the unique history and culture that is America.

As a Brit, I'm not sure where that leaves me in the celebrations, and as an informed activist I know that there is much about America that deserves mourning. But as a Transitioner, I'm open to anything that brings my community together.

So today I went down to the local parade  with my 2-year-old son, to roast in the midday sun, and watch the fun. We were not disappointed. There were hundreds of people dressed in their best red, white and blue, beaming big smiles, prancing about on star-spangled horses, and hanging from vintage hay-baled trucks blaring blues, sporting glittery hand-made banners that declared their pride in this town.

It was an old-fashioned, home-grown style of parade. Nothing fancy. Just the community getting together for one big party. Fire engines were hosing the crowds down, and kids were running amok all over the place, scrambling to pick up the masses of candy sweets that were being thrown from left, right and center.

Yes, there was consumerism. There were plastic bottles of water, plastic picnic wear, plastic flags, plastic balloons, plastic fireman's hats for the children, and plastic streamers. The floats and other funky vehicles weren't biodiesel. The food wasn't local or organic. The fireworks contained carcinogenic chemicals and heavy metals.There were hundreds of cars parked down every possible side street, because we had all driven to get to the parade.  The environmental impact was high.

Yet, it was fun. People were happy. They were friendly. They went out of their way to make this day special for themselves, and for others around them. If only we could take that energy, and channel it into something deeper. We could use that same flow and creativity to nourish, celebrate and grow our communities into vibrant microcosms of hope.

Instead of Independence Day, we need to have Interdependence Day, a celebration and co-creation of our interconnection with all of life. The idea of Interdependence Day is not new, there are many Declarations of Interdependence that people have put together over the last 50 years. But the idea of strengthening our interdependence by living locally is a Transition idea, one that has been beautifully expressed by Richmond Rivets in their  video here.

Maybe we will create our own Transition Declaration of Interdependence, and cultivate unique ways of bringing celebration and change into our communities for the benefit of all life on Earth. My hope is that we will all come together to celebrate local, and to live local. Happy Interdependence Day!

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