Seeds of Conviviality

To plant the seeds of a convivial life….

A primer for living beyond our ecological crisis prepared in Chicago on  September 21-23, 2010 by a gathering of friends…

On the second day of our gathering, we reflected on the question: What is the content of ‘convivial life?’ What are its characteristics and the principles that shape it?  This is the list that emerged from our conversation, each one opening opportunity for a deeper reflection.

  • Offer generosity
  • Have contact with one’s relationships often
  • Make a space for strangers
  • Have personal boundaries that are fuzzy
  • Be responsible and disciplined in the use of tools
  • Practice renunciation –  “No” can be yes
  • Have a disciplined practice
  • Ask how to be useful often and with joy
  • Foster localized abundance in all that nourishes the body and sprit
  • Come back to culture and community intentionally –  only then go to the market
  • Foster hospitality and all social dimensions of life
  • Find place in one’s ecological community
  • Organize around friendship
  • Be full “with life”
  • Open spaces where you, where all, come alive
  • Nourish all senses – get away from “non-sense”
  • Walk, slow down, enjoy friends
  • Be purposeful in the quest for alternative discourse and stories
  • Include warriors, weavers and builders
  • See the gift in the ask for help
  • Consider limitations as gifts not constraints
  • Bare suffering as part of the celebration of life
  • Recognize the need for the convivial life
  • Know the value of this life enough to protect it
  • Know great solitude without loneliness
  • Foster celebration and ritual
  • Be civilized
  • Protect the small so it may grow
  • Be not isolated
  • Be diverse, fallible, vulnerable
  • Foster purposeful living
  • Recognize the porosity of life’s boundaries
  • Seed innovation
  • Allow for dependencies –  be committed to them
  • Show no pretense about the difficulty of living dependently
  • Consider appropriate densities
  • Have great capacity for forgiveness
  • Emerge cooperation through generous exchange
  • Accept help – ask for help
  • Create culture that calls forth kindness
  • Make power through co-creating vision
  • Rightly understand the self interest of giving
  • Know rituals as communal rhythms and  touchstones
  • Value solitude as an essential to regeneration
  • Honor both silence and time
  • Foster listening to and hearing of others
  • Know one’s story so as to anchor to and evolve it
  • Be joyful in the negotiation of bounded choices
  • Celebrate all gifts
  • Always ensure  a voice for the voiceless

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