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Your unique role in addressing Y2K

The Year 2000 crisis came about because of the actions and interconnections of computers and technological systems. The Year 2000 problem will be dealt with by the actions and interconnections of people with each other and with the natural world.

Now is a good time to realize your unique role in the world, and take the reins. Now is a powerful time to wake up to your unique capabilities and connections, to take responsibility for them, and to use them to make a difference in the life of your community and the fate of your culture. Y2K has created the right time to do this -- individually and together with your fellows.

There's a lot you can do. This page proves it (as do other pages on this site). There's no need to ask rhetorically, helplessly, "What can one person do?" Now is the time to ask that question for real. Ask it to find real answers that are right for you. Then take action, however small. The hardest part is doing one thing, the first thing. Once you've taken one action, you'll have begun your journey into your full power in this world. As you go, you'll know better and better how to go forward. Imagine you are one of millions doing this -- because you are.

At the end of that journey together, we'll have a very different world. If we all do our part, it may just be the world we've always wanted.

If you are a professional
If you know anyone who is a professional, talk with them about Y2K and encourage them to do the type of reflection and activity described above. This will greatly magnify your impact on how this enormous event unfolds.

Make a list of other people you know, and contact them.
Make a list of the groups and organizations
you are connected to -- churches or temples, community groups, special interest organizations, clubs, activity groups, political parties, and so on. Start with any that have particular power in your community or country, or in which you hold a position of power or respect. Look at their reason for existence, and how Y2K relates to that. Choose who to communicate to, and how, and then do it. Then move on to other groups. It may make sense for you to create a small group within certain organizations to promote their involvement in Y2K. Don't forget your favorite neighborhood stores, libraries, etc. You can help them prepare using the Small Business-Owners Year 2000 Readiness Checklist.

Make a list of at least ten government officials, politicians or agencies who are supposed to be serving you. If you do this with friends or associates, you can each pick one or two to write (or, better yet, call), discuss what you will say to them, and then later share with each other what happened when you did that. If you work together on this, you will find that what you should do next becomes clear as you go along. This approach is especially effective with national or state officials at all times -- and with local officials up to a point. If one local official receives dozens of calls from Y2K-concerned citizens each day, it can interfere with their work; so be sensitive to their needs. (You can prepare for this using the Y2K Political Action Project.)

Make a list of media that you use -- TV, radio, newspapers, magazines -- both local and national. If you are in a group, divide up the list so that each of you is tracking the Y2K coverage of at least one of them. If they don't cover Y2K at all, ask them why. If they cover Y2K but don't cover community preparedness issues, or aren't covering Y2K in a way that empowers the community, insist that they correct their coverage. Use the information and links on this site to become knowledgeable, powerful consumers of Y2K media information, on behalf of your whole community. If you are ambitious, call in to talk shows -- or begin to build a personal relationship with a particular reporter or columnist, and find out how you can help them cover Y2K better. Always validate good coverage; write them and tell them how much you appreciate it. An often overlooked source of information in your community is your local library. Talk to them about Y2K resources that are available on line, and ask if you can help them develop any other information resources. Use library spaces for Y2K meetings.

Connect with your neighbors. Realize that if there is a major collapse of infrastructure, the people you are going to be dealing with are your neighbors. There may be no media, no internet, no phones, no stores, no gas for your car... "Nobody here but just us chickens," as the saying goes. At that point, neither you nor your neighbors will be going very far from your neighborhood, nor will you have anyone else to talk to or work with. If you don't already know the people living around you, now is a very good time to have some street parties, share dinners, do neighborhood yard sales, get involved in neighborhood associations, start a neighborhood newsletter, join a crime watch or disaster preparedness group, or otherwise involve yourself with your neighbors, even if it is just to say hello and chat for a minute as you walk by. It matters less what you do together than that you build good relationships. As the months go on, you'll be able to align your conversations and activities increasingly to the demands of Y2K, since it will probably become a growing concern for everyone. Encourage your neighbors to do the things on this page, and encourage your friends, relatives and associates to get to know their neighbors. Then, whatever happens, our communities will be fully alive again!

Think about how to help with your unique abilities.
Think about your investments. Your money could You can also become a "social investor," investing your money in activities like the Co-Intelligence Institute, where the return isn't more money but a better society and greater collective security for your community and your children. If you think Y2K is going to be really serious, take a serious look at what money means in this new context. Using it now to make the world or your community better may produce enormous returns in aliveness and meaning, where trying to figure out how to protect it in a ferociously collapsing society may drain away aliveness and meaning. Notice how you feel. Move into a relationship with money that is most alive for you. It will probably be the one that most nurtures the health of our shared world.

Strengthen your connection to nature.

Come home to nature: You are already connected to nature, even if you are locked in a prison cell. The atmosphere is nature. The bugs are nature. The rain and the sun are nature. Everything around you is nature, including all human technological products, although many of those are very deformed, degraded examples. You can always become more conscious of and responsive to the way you are embedded in nature, and the role you are playing in it. Are you participating in ways that enhance the aliveness and health of the natural world in which you live? Can you learn more about it? (See bioregionalism and permaculture for some ideas about this.)

Go out into nature: Hike, bike or camp in less inhabited areas. Familiarize yourself with the life that lives there. Sense its power, its wisdom (hard won through billions of years of trial and error), and its right to life and a place in the world comparable -- at least! -- to your own.

Co-create with nature: Garden. Compost. Plant a tree. Protect a forest or wetland. Walk. Do what you can to re-use water (greywater, rainwater, etc.) instead of sending it down pipes into the ocean. Do what you can to protect the air.

The industrial/economic infrastructure we've built around us makes us feel like we are outside of nature. We're not. It makes us feel like we don't need nature. We do. It makes us feel like we can abuse nature as long as we like and get away with it. We can't. Do what you can to make friends with the most powerful, all-pervading reality on earth, to become knowledgeable about its needs and demands, to become a partner in supporting its well-being so that it can support yours. It is vastly capable of supporting human culture, but it won't tolerate abuse. It demands respect.

Without our infrastructure, we'll have nothing but nature and each other to work with. Actually, we've never had anything else to work with. If the Y2K threat to our infrastructure teaches us this one lesson, it will all have been worth it. If we don't learn this lesson now, nature will give us something harder to learn it with. Now is the time to get it right.

For more about what you can do, see What can I do about Y2K?