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A life-changing experience

SUNSET slowly fades into twilight as I watch from the flat roof of the farmhouse that I’m staying at.

In one direction the mountains are ablaze with the colours of the clouds, transforming from a passionate orange to a serene brown, and finally to various shades of grey.

The currents of renewal begin to stir, awaiting their full glory in the morning to come.

In another direction the white of the snow tops turns to silver, gradually dissolving into the relentless presence of the dark.

A half moon shines ghostly light through a cloud, as my footsteps follow a circular path. Into my ears flows the beautiful wind, sometimes whispering, sometimes howling into a deep cavern of my mysteries, yearnings and fears.

This is not the usual way to commence a column! It seems apt however to begin with one of the deepest experiences of my life.

Last year I spent four months living with communities in the wildly beautiful desert-lands of Ladakh, in the Indian Himalayas. Despite few natural resources, I found Ladakh to be home to a thriving culture of cooperation, interdependence with the Earth, and wealth beyond monetary measure.

My experience in Ladakh has opened me to new ways of doing things. After doing some research back home, I realised that around the world, including WA, people are adopting new initiatives that are sensitive to the wisdom of ageless cultures, and to the rapids of change that are approaching us from the future.

Reworking Tomorrow is the name of an organisation inspired by the late futurist Robert Theobald, author of books such as We Do Have Future Choices

and Reworking Success: New Communities at the Millennium.

While this column is based on my views and not that of Reworking Tomorrow, I am indebted to Robert for his educational work towards resilient communities and people.

I trust that this column will stimulate conversations on issues that are in the hearts and minds of ourselves as business people, parents, partners and community members.

From new economics to voluntary simplicity, from servant leadership to community-supported agriculture, I hope to convey a sense of the quiet evolution that is occurring in our midst.

n Rodney Vlais is a social analyst who is involved with several nonprofit organisations.

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