By Alan Hedley
Hello Dogwooders. I am a recently retired sociology professor from UVic. One thing I learned when I reached age 65 is that people aren’t telling me what to do all the time, which raised the question of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: “What is really important to me?” That’s when I came up with my ‘Third Life’ objective: “I want to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable human existence on planet Earth.” Now all I had to do was find interesting, engaging, fun ways to do just that!
Obviously, finding other people with similar aspirations – talking to them, sharing ideas, and working toward achieving common goals – is an excellent way to begin, and when Will asked me if I would like to post a regular blog on Dogwood, I jumped at the chance!
And so here I am inviting you to collaborate with me in searching for more equitable and sustainable ways to live our lives. How exactly do we do this? First we must justify that equity and sustainability are indeed values worth pursuing. Then we can measure and evaluate where we are now – the systems and patterns by which we live – in terms of these values. And finally, we can work toward building and promoting more equitable and more sustainable human communities. In other words, we want to devise ways that will allow us to get “there” from “here.”
This is exactly the approach that Dogwood Initiative takes. Its primary objective is to achieve “sustainable land reform” in British Columbia.
First it justifies this goal: “Sustainability can be described as ‘the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,’ and land reform is the process by which control over a tract of land is transferred to the people who live there and work it, with the aim of all inhabitants prospering far into the future.” Then it identifies social institutions and social structures in the province in which sustainable land reform is being compromised, and works toward ensuring “that BC residents have the right to make their own decisions about how the land they live on is used [and] … to safeguard their communities for their children and their children’s children.”
So in the weeks and months ahead let’s work together toward making our world more equitable – for ourselves and for our grandchildren’s children. I’m looking forward to it. Are you up for it?
Together, we can get there from here!
Alan, and other Dogwood Initiative supporters, will be contributing to Blogwood on a semi-regular basis.