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“They” are not going to fix this
Recently I shared a meme within The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ Facebook Group. It was a quote from famous American painter, printmaker, cartoonist, and illustrator / writer of children’s books, Don Freeman.
The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ is a non-profit organization and as such, we cannot, and do not, endorse candidates for public office or lobby for changes in government in any way. Without too much more explanation, we can educate about issues and provide space for events, all in a fair and unbiased way, but basically we cannot point to one over the other – and this is for good reason!
BUT, we also cannot ignore that the recent election had, and is continuing to have, major implications on, well, just about everything and everyone. In light of that, I must be true to myself and this organization in saying there is always opportunity, always, even when there appears to be nothing but conflict and divisiveness.
From the very beginning of this initiative, back when it was literally just my wife and I, we held the belief that no one in our government was going to fix the problems we face, locally, regionally, or otherwise. We literally felt we had to do it ourselves. Now don’t get me wrong, anyone that knows me well certainly knows I pay close attention to politics and who is in what office. They certainly play a role in things, some very big ones at that. But I am convinced that many of the major problems we have can be reduced, many times, right down to us. We are the individuals who make up society, and as such, we can solve them.
On a very high level, The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ operates on the premise that people need to be happy and enjoy happiness. They need to basically be content in their lives in order for a host of other problems to be resolved. Miserable people will never solve major problems. To that end, finding a person’s passion became the most focused objective of The Project. However, being realistic, there had to be the second piece – also helping folks leverage their passions into some method of being self-sufficient as well as contributing members of society.
What does all this have to do with the quote? All the careers in the quote (and many more) are the essence of The Project, our belief in making things better through all the efforts of such people. Politicians are NOT going to do this for us. We, as in you and me, and hopefully many many more people will come together to build and operate ZIPPER JUNCTION™. The ramifications of such a place will lessen our need to look to those in political office. We intend to not only help folks be happier through their passions/livelihoods, we intend to have ZIPPER JUNCTION™ aide the region (and become a National example) in many other ways as well. By combining the efforts of the very programs and people within this place, we can help the region in ways that will have far reaching and very positive long term effects.
Imagine if we created a region with so much economic activity that the local folks had better job opportunities?
Imagine if we managed to create a system where food can be locally grown, locally distributed, and consumed by the local population?
Imagine if there was a system of public transport to lessen the need for individual vehicles, ease travel for the older or less fortunate among us, and reduce emissions too?
Imagine a totally self-sustainable facility that generated its own power, created almost zero waste, and utilized the energy within the earth to heat and cool it?
Imagine if NEPA became an enclave of innovation that people sought to visit, learn from, and potentially make their lives better simply from experiencing it?
Imagine if our High School graduates had the opportunities here that would allow them to return after college or trade school if they wanted to?
Imagine a place where all are welcome, crime is low, drugs are scarce, a strong sense of community thrives, and people indeed were happy to live there?
There is so much more to imagine that we can make a reality!
These are some of the real long term goals for The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™. It is so much more than “make people happy” and “help them find their passion”. But none of it revolves around politicians. It revolves around us, all of us, no matter how you voted. We are all in this together so we better get to getting this done so we can all pursue our own version of happiness.