I was just listening to a story on Marketplace about an organization called Simple. https://www.simple.com/. It’s a way to leave your bank and avoid a lot of these horrible fees banks have been using to steal our money. Apparently the company gets money from banks to work in a more friendly way with their customers. These are mostly small banks that want a way to diffuse consumer anger. It’s a curious idea and I’m thinking about this.
I wrote this blog a few hours ago without knowing where I was going with it and I found that after a while I started realizing that the phrase “is it simple” was the key thing I was questioning. What was simple? And the more I went along, I started thinking about the character Jim Parsons plays on The Big Bang Theory. http://www.cbs.com/shows/big_bang_theory/
What were the ways that I could explore change in my life and how had I resisted change? There were a few specific areas I thought about. I looked at the Goodwill stores and how the organization had changed over time. I thought about my life and how I might be able to change it. And finally I wondered about the whole concept of change. It seems so ironic because I work with people on the question of change and I read an excellent book Changing For Good during an AODA class last spring. http://www.timlebon.com/stagesofchangemodelprochaska.html
Is there a lot of Goodwill available? I remember my family going to the Goodwill stores back in the 60s. Several years ago Goodwill got its maw stuck in honey jar by becoming a provider under the Wisconsin Works (W2) program that replaced welfare. Eventually Goodwill was forced to withdraw from W-2. Despite the bad publicity from the mess resulting from a series of missteps Goodwill had created a wall between the W2 program and its other operations.
The streets are full of ads promoting shopping at Goodwill as a fashion place. I went to a store on the east side of Milwaukee and purchased two pairs of running shoes for which I receive compliments on a regular basis. Last night I looked at the Goodwill.com site and saw that they had a major presence resembling ebay where people bid on thousands of items.
I was clutching my Goodwill frequent shopper card and barely resisted the urge to join in the bidding. This is not my mother’s Goodwill.
I definitely want to improve my living conditions including getting rid of some junk. I am typing on a keyboard that disgusts me. There was a much better looking keyboard at the store. This apartment, too, must go. I have written, somewhat facetiously, about my interest in becoming a member of a housing cooperative. I thought, how simple could that be? I have been favorably impressed with the progress that Eight Limbs Cooperative has made. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yogashalahousingcoop/
I enjoyed the fundraising event for Eight Limbs that I wrote about. I have struggled in my efforts to live in community. In fact I remember being irritated when my partner would open the front curtains in our apartment. Is it simple to let others into your life? Can you trust that seemingly small changes in your life are really safe for you?
Could you accept the pitter patter of all those other people scrambling about lowering or even removing curtains at will? I am going to talk with one of the people who has been encouraging cooperatives and co-housing in Milwaukee to discuss my idea for transforming a small four unit building into a housing cooperative.
Here is the message I wrote about my protect. This is the message I plan to use on COLOG: There is a wonderful 4 unit building owned by a longtime Riverwest couple who would love to see it to a cooperative. Let’s cooperate. Let’s put our heads together an incorporate a cooperative. Let’s find a name for this new venture and create a self governing organization. Let’s increase diversity in Milwaukee housing. Let’s show that there is an independent spirit in Milwaukee. Send me a message off list and we will get this ball rolling. On to cooperation. Kenyatta
Maybe it is that simple or maybe change is something we must struggle over until it wrestles us to the ground and makes us accept its necessity.
- 12 Days of Caring: Goodwill’s Community Skills Program helps disabled people develop work skills (pennlive.com)
- Bad Will At Goodwill (06880danwoog.com)