The adults will show up any minute now, waken us with reassurance that this is merely a nightmare and everything will be okay. Right? Then I remember that the “adults” are themselves the problem—corrupt Congress (both sides), ham-handed Rahm Emmanuel, tone-deaf obstructionist Republicans and, unbelievable though it may be, a tainted Supreme Court. It reminds me of the disturbing Leonardo DiCaprio / Ben Kingsley movie Shutter Island in which it became confusing to distinguish reality from a nightmare.
This nightmare is the new reality for many as illustrated in this graph of the precipitous drop in civilian employment.
Poverty that is growing worse by the day is the root of the problem. Chicago’s solution to under performing schools is to close 50 of them, rather than address the underlying reasons for poor performance. Garrison Keillor observed that schools are community anchors and closing them is an act of vandalism. The economic squeeze coupled with anti-tax fever feels like the economy is burning and the exits are blocked.
Welcome to the brand new paradigm, baby. When you look back for what was familiar, it likely won’t be there. We must rescue ourselves, our families, friends, and neighbors. This requires a new approach, a cooperative one, in which the fertile field of possibility yields affordable housing, good jobs, nutritious food and safe, resilient, supportive communities. This is absolutely within our reach and mixing together community-by-community is the way we’ll achieve it.
At the Housing Mixer at the Lake Street Church of Evanston this Sunday (6/23 from 12 – 2), we’ll talk about alternative home sharing models, including Professional Homes Managed by Professional Homemakers.