Imagine living in a community where the health and well-being of each resident was put on the highest priority; whether it be their physical, mental or social condition. And imagine if this was achieved not through governmental handholding … but the development of self-efficacy and personal agency.
Imagine living in a community where neighborhood-driven serendipity and chance encounter was the fuel for career enhancement and personal development – literally creating opportunities around every corner.
Imagine living in community where the days of small locally-owned businesses were the anchors of the community are recreated today. These anchors will return to being the civic pillars of your community they’ve always been, defending against the hijacking of the social and cultural fabric by nondescript Wall Street chain stores.
Imagine living in a community where solving civic problems and realizing community opportunities was not left to government and institutions; but became the domain of the people as they identified what was important to them and banded together to implement solutions to these prioritized issues.
And imagine living in a community that was fun; where getting up in the morning was an opportunity to have unexpected new experiences – experiences that make your life as fulfilling as you imagined when you were young and the world was unshackled and yours for the taking … not just more of the same as it seems like it’s turned into.
Melvin’s Neighborhood is the embodiment of the imagination. It gives you the opportunity to turn your life and that of those around you into experiences full of contributions, personally and collectively in the community. Take the chance and make your journey one that takes you on the the road to your Perfect World.
(update with adjusts in Building the Neighborhood Tenets)
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest due to racial inequality, the world is at a turning point. I hope from this we evolve as a society and realize that this is indeed an unprecedented opportunity. But to do so we can’t just create models of the world we want. The optimal world I envision here in Montana is probably not the world you see in Los Angeles or Lagos, Nigeria. Each community brings different needs and resources to address these needs. Our goal should be to create a world that empowers the maximization of these local resources.
Melvin’s Neighborhood is not a model of a Perfect World, rather it’s a construction kit for you and your community to build your own using the materials you have. Our philosophy of societal structure is based on that prevalent in nature, the rhizome. The rhizome is an underground root-like network that sprouts growth perpendicular to the surface. Where the growth occurs depends on the resources available; water, nutrients, distance to the surface and restrictions. We believe this is how of communities should evolve, not through institutions and hierarchical bias – but as a result of the people of our communities and their unique resources, gifts and talents they bring.
The Neighborhood is built on a the bleedingEDGE technical platform that coordinates the activity of the community; including small business communication, NGOs, volunteer programs, and health and well-being prompts and suggestions. At the core of the Neighborhood is the concept that if each us is healthy so will our community will be. While the road to get there will be different for each locale, the platform mechanics and structure is constant, as are the tenets we’ve built Melvin’s Neighborhood around. Regardless where you live, we assume these tenets will be used as the touchstones we hold on to to guide our decision making as we individually and collectively make the way on our journey.
Melvin’s Neighborhood Tenets:
- Melvin’s Neighborhood is the new model of community (post-COVID and while co-existing with America’s political dysfunction). The Neighborhood is about the community first … not the individual. While the community is the priority, it’s essentially the aggregate of its parts – its people. For the community to be healthy – first must the people. The relationship between the two is essentially a morph of one.
- Question everything! Legacy institutions hold no weight in the Neighborhood ecosystem. The Neighborhood cares only about finding the needs of the community and addressing these needs maximizing whatever resources available.
- The basis of Melvin’s Neighborhood is “human capital.” Every member of the community is unique and adds to fabric of the community. Everyone has something to offer and everyone should be heard – no mater their age or social standing. Talent is your community’s most valuable resource (Situational Leadership must be a cornerstone to the narrative). Move beyond the hierarchy. Streamline decision making (operate with imperfect or limited information – rely on diverse personal experience: Amazon method).
- Melvin’s Neighborhood practices the concept of ”Resource Maximization.” ” Don’t worry about what you don’t have … use what you have.” Traditional civic functioning looks for outside assistance first, assuming the societal situation is static (unchanging). The Neighborhood looks to maximize, realign and leverage current resources to address dynamic needs and opportunities. The world is dynamic – so our decision making must reflect that.
- The Neighborhood is a lifestyle. It’s tenants should be embodied throughout your life; not just something you participate in when convenient. It’s a mindset, a lifestyle that revolves around well-being (physical, mental and social), for both you and those around you in your community. The Neighborhood is here for Residents to “Build your own Perfect World” while abiding by the new societal realities; COVID-19 and individual responsibility as a Neighborhood Resident.
- Wealth is not just about money. It’s about the content of your life. Your “personal currency” can take any form. We must reward accomplishment on a multitude of platforms. Our goal must be to nurture a “personal currency” within each person that they themselves to build.
- It’s not enough to just diversify our community by embracing outsiders. We must actively seek out their input through synthesized cross-pollination. These outsiders will be the one who give us the insight to address the issues of today and especially the future. “Sameness” is a disease.
- The Neighborhood builds the community by strengthening locally-owned business. We are “Changers of Commerce” empowering the Davids against the Goliaths. Local ownership provides ongoing multigenerational rooting, stability and secession. It gives those in decision-making positions a vested interest in the community.
- The future of the community is its youth. We must look at our youth for the vision of tomorrow – not mold them to fitting into ours of the past. We should give them guidance and the lessons gained from our successes and failures so they are best positioned to lead. Our vision of community must include the wisdom of each generation (and sub-generation) that inhabit it.
- Every community is different. Melvin’s Neighborhood is just a “tool box”. How you use the tools will be up to you. The Neighborhood will provide its Residents and Front Porches with tools that include a technical platform (the bleedingEDGE) and a rhizomatic civic framework to build on. While there will be basic tenets – what is built on the foundation must be completely up to the community’s residents, young and old.
- The Neighborhood and its Residents must lead by example. Understand the embrace of the Neighborhood way will not be consistent throughout the populace. There will be innovators, early adopters, the middle mass, laggards and those who will never come around. Accept this. Regardless their acceptance level – they are still part of the community. Do your best to show them the way.