Friendly Letter to the Mayor - ‘together we are able’
We are aspired
The most profound thing you can learn in India nowadays, as we would say, is the act of giving. And that is what we have been doing and continue to do. We have been giving to individuals mostly but also to organizations. We didn’t give them money but we shared with them our knowledge. They gave us appreciation in return and most important in this context, they are ready and willing to act with this knowledge and that is why we write to you. Together we are able.
We share, how we can create a climate where people can flourish from within and without, together with their environment. How the borders we encounter in life can be transformed in horticultural borders as we can encounter in price winning gardens. How we can unveil visions, stimulate awareness, which can uncover the experience of happiness. We can set a context where biodiversity and social cohesion are equivalent. An Utopia? We don’t think so. And it is more practical as you might expect. The ingredients are already there, right here, waiting to be composed.
We share a plan how there can be worked together in the course not only the result has his impact but more important also the process. The process carries the necessary energy for the fruits which again will be seeds. Metaphors, indeed; which by themselves only will keep you puzzled. So to reveal the picture we have to start with telling you what we notice.
We Notice; (Tall) buildings, (little) community gardens, social projects, little innovative shops and businesses, and most of all the segregations of these worlds. Of course there are a few links, mostly economic thought, in the form of donation, charity financial aid or business transaction. It seems strange that although the strong equality thought within society, people living way up in the business buildings (working) rarely are in contact with people living down. Although there is a lot of energy and recourses spent on getting a so called green or organic stream among the city, people themselves are not always experiencing themselves as organic beings. Even the platforms of the intellectual climatologist, botanical and innovative ingenuities seem rarely to hit bottom or just misses the mind and practical usage in the less-advantage areas. Strangely enough these latter areas are nearer in harmonizing nature and matter due to their mostly shorter distance to their native or sometimes even primordial roots.
Luckily some organizations are working progressively on sustainability and the environmental awareness. But somewhere it stays abstract, for example as in being aware of your water use is good for your economical expenses and saves on the world’s water supply. One focuses on economics (budgeting) another on world’s water supply. Some are able to mix them. Some just get fixated and frozen only of the idea of water being a problem. The essence where we direct to is not directly to the water, we acknowledge there is lots to say about the subject and we appreciate the effort taken. The essence we are targeting is neither the problem nor the solution, not the relief and not the fear. Don’t understand us wrongfully when we say that being aware of your water use won’t make you a better person. Yet, the process of training will kindle, trigger and inspire your development of a major competence called ‘awareness’.
Awareness as a quality can actually reenergize the vital energy needed to communicate and live healthy. Awareness can make you aware of what we can call ‘stillness’, inside and outside you and others. This stillness is, for example, what we are looking for when we fall into each other’s arms crying for comfort, recognizing a personal and impersonal feeling. People feel stillness in communes, in churches, in standing out, actually with awareness they can feel it in every move they make. Without awareness we are ‘looking for’, with awareness we can stop looking for, not because we found it, but because we know it is there. This won’t stop people from moving but will change the intention of their move, and besides that, enlarge the awareness on that move. Although this is easily done it takes a lot of practice to perfect it. And to write in Metaphors again ‘you can’t speed up the growth of a sprout by pulling it’.
What goes for sprouts goes also for people, in the literal and figurative sense. Great care is needed nurturing a sprout. It needs water, earth, sun and so. There are lot of practices around that can learn you that. Although the great care the process of growth is one made by the seed/ sprout itself. Being fully aware is like this process of growth. It is a practice people can only do themselves. The nurturing is the practice of awareness and the elements the conditions or context which can be of big help for the practice. Eventually, as well for the sprout as the person practicing awareness, the result would be pure (natural) beauty. The beauty of emerging . Emerging people, emerging neighborhoods, emerging boroughs, and emerging cities. Just flourishing. And that is what we do; sharing the awareness of this beauty, that is our aspiration.
What is it that the (local) community, society, need constantly? Hands. What is it what communities have plenty of? Hands. What is it communities have, society has, what the people within these communities need? Training ground (public space). What is the value of this training ground for community? A place where people can flourish and experience happiness (through Training (practice) and Communication). Given that every conduct bears fruits as no conduct brings rotten or no fruits at all. Putting the conduct of people on the frontline of an awareness stream, using ‘nature’ as a medium, will make a big difference. We’ll say in this case the medium is also the message, not to come up with clichés but because of the truth of it. It’s in mans ‘nature’ to be healthy and experience happiness.
To give you just a ‘grain’ of what fruit bears our mind; we think of raising nature to the top. And as any organic process we start on the ground. This ground can be taken in organic contrast but also in human contrast. It’s the foundation, the constitution. We start working with people who for what reason hit bottom. Taking their human-value and putting that value to conduct. In this gesture we help-out. Help-out the local environment by taking care of the streets and public spaces with a sense of nature. So instead of solely receiving support out of charity they are also creating support on their own means, which is conduct. Up scaling charity to the dimension of appreciation. The stake holders of the physical and social appearance of the areas that form the city will profit from this, newly arising situation that is, a clean and healthy environment, financially. To continue the conduct started, this profit should be invested in conduct. Extra support can be realized on the surrounding fields of cities project buildings where people, mostly, live in a depressed environment. So instead of ‘taking’ the value of conduct you ‘give’ this value, in other words you invest the value in again human-value. Notice the full circle, the cycle of nature, in this.
Work on public areas, cleaning up and transform the depressing aspects of an environment have a tremendous social side affect; people will come out and communicate. Actually people will engage in the ‘training grounds’ which the community provides. In this context problems get discussed, can be nurtured and eradicated. With, on the spot, a trained social manager with skills that makes him able to transport transform, massage certain signs, who has the ability to 'grab' and 'let go', you can work actually preventive. You can prune individual problems which need assistance, by the roots. In this way people won’t be forced to hit bottom before they thrive.
Open or visual conduct attracts conduct. To make the system economical flourishing for the neighborhood, you get your equipment, tools, soil and food out of this same neighborhood, in this way you stimulate local business and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Making use of this latter CSR by showing interest, appreciating their business and offering them a place where they can show their products you can make deals as social discounts. Implant a system of vouchers with which people who participate actually can earn these vouchers that can be used in local stores or farmers markets. Mostly to expensive organic products can get more attractive in this way. Notice that working in this way more of the money spent (investment) in an environment actually stays in this area. (You can actually follow it). Seeing this conduct physically will chance people mentally and physically. At the same time a context is created which can actually be a show case. The show case, shows how a certain environment that can change not by force but rather by conduct directed by nature (natural conduct), developing naturally, not only on micro scale but also on meso scale. Just imagine the effects when the awareness as well as the conduct of this particular area expands mutually.
The produced part of this line, Implementing a, so called, ‘nature workforce’ as contractors for big enterprises in business buildings in important business areas of a city then becomes a very practical step. It looks nice (appearance) creates a nice atmosphere (space) and brings a biodiversity to the top floors, which actually shall affect the productivity and mental health (practice)on those floors. In the same time you not only work physically bottom up and economically top down. But the two will also be united and flourishing, bearing new fruits for an unknown but healthy future.
This is what we share and it strongly resonates with the minds of people and organizations we encounter. They all believe in the power of nature. Not because the idea is so new, nor because we are so convincing. We resonate because the idea as well as its path is even older as the way to Rome, maybe even older as Methuselah. It is incorporated in culture by nature. All those people that have gone before, whether they reached advanced stages or just saw a glimpse, fact is they prove to be ready and willing. Able we are together.
We are aspired, we acknowledge our aspiration, our nature, and because you choose becoming Mayor you follow yours, and exactly that is appreciated.
Stanley Pashouwers and Natasja de Lange
Special thanks to Nagarjuna’s Works, the loving people surrounding us and the practices of creatief beheer.
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