This is by Carl of Transition Radio fame, copied from the Transition Radio blog
Saturday 12th June had it’s share of ups and downs. A major up for me was delivering Transition Radio at the Transition Network’s 2010 conference. Transition, for those not in the know, is the brainchild of one green Rob, from the South Hams, who has inspired a global network to face up to the challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change.
A major down was the English football team’s excrutiating performance against the USA, where one Rob Green, from the West Hams, failed to inspire confidence in the national team, facing the twin challenges of Peak Hope and, now inevitable, Squad Change.
It seems most Transition Conference delegates are not football fans. Sure, some are incurably loyal to the national team, but most were drawn, I suspect, by the sense of occasion generated by a 3 metre World Cup screen in Seale Hayne’s Great Hall and the good natured, but lairy sounding chants, of those savouring some pre-match ‘football juice’.
Judging by the groans earlier on in the day whenever the World Cup was mentioned, we can assume a natural antipathy for the ‘Beautiful Game’ among those interested in Transition. Is it the tribal and confrontational nature of the game that displeases those endeavouring to foster a greater sense of empathy, compassion and community in the world? The smell of big money, global brands and face-painted nationalism obviously doesn’t help, but I think Transitioners who reject football with a sigh of condescension should think again.
I’d like them to think again, not because football is a silly game followed largely by silly men who – in many cases – should really know better; because they’d be right. Football is clearly a recipe for disappointment, disgruntlement and drunkenness.
I’d like those who dismiss football to think again because the same snobbery they impose on their seemingly intellectually-more-feeble colleagues is the same knee-jerk judgement they may face when trying to articulate the case for Transition among the non-mulling, ‘unconverted’.
Whenever I find myself having an immediate and judgemental reaction of dislike, I know I’m not giving the object of my disapproval the sort of loving and compassionate treatment I’d truly like to see in myself and the world around me. My reaction says more about me than it does about them.
Therefore, if you see red (and white) every time the World Cup is mentioned, you could always re-frame it as the ideal opportunity to understand and embrace people’s most basic needs. Though sometimes clumsily expressed, the sense of belonging and expression of deep passion found in football are easily corroborated in the world of Transition.
Once understood, football is our friend. And even those who foolishly like football can be our friends too!
One of this year’s conference themes is diversity. Let’s keep our eye on the ball.