• Joe Lightfoot

A Collective Blooming: Towards The Compassionate Global Village

This is an excerpt from A Collective Blooming: The Rise Of The Mutual Aid Community by Joe Lightfoot.


A Collective Blooming is a narrative that revolves around the cultivation of community. It envisions a planet wide network of peaceful, cooperative, decentralised, ecologically sustainable and socially just local communities. Essentially a worldwide transition from the Corrosive, Hollow, Oppressive & Materialistic Plutocracy we have today, towards the Regenerative, Enlightened & Compassionate Global Village that is already starting to emerge in small pockets all over the world. It’s a narrative that points toward a society where all living beings on Earth are afforded lives of dignity. Where the health of our inner worlds, our relationships and our communal bonds are all placed at the heart of our cultural and political agenda.


The Collective Blooming narrative can be visualised as a global ecosystem of change making collectives all coming into blossom at precisely the same moment, a kind of floral chain of empathic, community focused activation that unites those of us ready and willing to step into the next chapter of our development as a species. It’s an invitation for us to start co-creating the world we wish to live in, right here in the world we inhabit today. Admittedly, it’s a fairly idealistic vision. But as we find ourselves facing a number of existential crises, it seems we have no other choice but to remain focussed on the vision of a better world, and then keep moving towards it, one courageous step at a time.

Part of this process is to continually remind ourselves that the future is what we choose to make it. As the author Richard Flanagan put it ‘Perhaps the greatest problem we face is not climate change, but the myth of our own powerlessness. We believe only the most powerful – the politicians, the corporations – can change our world. Accordingly, we feel a great despair about our future because we can see no hope in any politician or any corporation. But it is not so. Because the only thing that will save us is us. Half of the carbon in the atmosphere was put there by us in the last 30 years. And now we have 11 and a half years to reverse that disastrous act. It is a time to act and it is for us to act. Because there is no one else and there is no other time.’ (1)


And whilst we must respond urgently to the wide range of environmental catastrophes and social injustices that face our species, the longer journey towards any such Compassionate Global Village will be a multi generational effort. It will take time, patience and an appetite for experimenting with radically new ways of living. But if we remain alienated and left to feel alone in the face of such massive existential threats, then the challenges before us can begin to appear almost insurmountable. Which is why I believe one of the first and most important steps we can take is to more fully harness the power of community. To foster the kind of human scaled cultural ecosystems that allow us to weave our lives together in ways that encourage us to integrate, blossom and then work together towards enacting sustained waves of social, political and economic change.


In modern society the true value of community is often grossly underestimated. But in my experience it’s one of the most powerful tools that we have, as in just a matter of months it can completely transform an individuals life and empower them to become much more effective agents of change. But to access this transformational power we must first generate a new wave of mutual aid communities that are well adapted to the 21st Century, that serve to connect, nurture, unite and inspire all those individuals with their sights firmly set on a better tomorrow.

(1) Speech, Richard Flanagan: 'Will you stand with me, will you go to jail with me', Adani mine rally, 5 May 2019, Canberra, Australia.

Joe Lightfoot is a writer, podcaster and apprentice community weaver. He is the author of A Collective Blooming: The Rise Of The Mutual Aid Community and the host of The Lightfoot Podcast. You can sign up to his newsletter The Lightfoot Letter and find him on Facebook & Twitter.

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2021 Joe Lightfoot

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