Step 6

Empowerment Center

Community Well-Being

  • safety and security
  • clean air and clean water
  • beautiful parks and architecture
  • things to do and places to meet other members of the community
  • each member having an impact on the well-being of the community
  • all facilities designed to be accessible to all levels of disabilities
  • facilities designed to support all 7 elements of well-being

Plan, Design, Build

Problem: When Zoologists create habitats for exotic wild animals they take great care to study the habits and instincts of the animal to ensure that they are creating an environment in which the animal will be most likely to thrive and have healthy offspring.  Why would we take any less care in creating the habitat for ourselves and our children?

I find myself asking some very obvious questions:

What if the environment of competition in the local marketplace actually raises children who lean towards conflicts and wars in the global marketplace?

What if single family dwellings result in disconnected people who commit more crimes against their neighbors?

What if being an employee prevents the development of each individual's greatest strengths of problem solving and decision-making produces people who will never rise into a sense of well-being no matter how many anti-depressants he takes?

What if having to pay rent to live on the planet where you were born prevents any possibility of having a sense of belonging, a crucial element of human well-being?

Think of a bee hive.  There is a certain number of bees that make up a hive.  When there is the right number of bees, everyone has what they need.  They each know their jobs and do them for the good of the hive.  Would bees be happier and experience greater well-being if you separated them each in their own hive that you built for them and then supplied all the honey they need?  Everyone intuitively knows that providing separate little hives would never lead to greater well-being for bees.  They might have an easier life because they don't have to build their own hive or gather their own nectar or turn the nectar into honey, but they don't have a greater sense of well-being because they are separated from the hive and have no meaning or purpose to their lives.  Could humans also have a certain number of family and friends that will bring balance and well-being to a human habitat?  Could building and toiling for the good of the tribe be the very thing that brings a sense of belonging and a sense of well-being to humans?

Solution:  Humans need to start from scratch.  They need to survive and invent.  They need to be free to choose.  They need to be needed.  They need to be masters of their own destiny, not subservient on-lookers.

If we work together, we could bring dynamic people together to establish a new kind of human habitat starting with the ideas and strengths of those who plan to live there.  We could design and build a habitat center that meets the needs of every member of the community on all 7 levels of well-being.  We are at a time in history when we can begin to think about designing and building a new kind of habitat center that encourages contribution, physical health,  life purpose, social interaction, recreation and global responsibility all at the same time.

This habitat center could be foreclosed homes donated by the banks.  It could be new construction through investors.  It might be condos that face each other in a cul-de-sac.  It might be a circle of rural 1-acre garden homes.  It might be a biodome with cutting edge green technology that captures the greenhouse emissions to produce sustainable energy.  The one thing it will always be is FREE of rent or ownership and designed by those who will live there.

"We encourage everyone to design their community with well-being as the bottom line.  Only then are we empowered as an individuals to solve world hunger, pollution, corruption, war and every other practice that prevents global well-being."

--Teré Foster, founder of

Establish A Green Infrastructure

Problem: When corporations and governments "take care of everything," designing and building roads and infrastructure, homes and neighborhoods, shopping and industry, the members of the community are relegated once again to non-decision-making "tenents" or "home buyers," "consumers" who keep the wheels turning, "the workforce," the army that does what it is told.  The stores and restaurants are owned by corporations, so when you enter an establishment not many know your name or are interested in interacting with you beyond the tasks of their job descriptions.  The cost of living is beyond your control.  Devastation of the land and its inhabitants is forced upon us.

If having everything done for us was good for our sense of well-being we would all be doing better than ever, yet the latest polls and surveys tells us that 47% of the US population is "struggling," depression is on the rise, and people often report a sense of "loneliness in a crowd."  When corporations and governments decide how a community will be designed and built, the environment might be a secondary concern to generating the greatest revenue.  

Solution: In contrast, a community of well-being is designed and owned by those who plan to live there.  The infrastructure is designed and owned by the members of the community.  With a green infrastructure strategy, communities work to preserve and connect open spaces, watersheds, wildlife habitats, parks, and other critical landscapes.  When utilities and services are provided by those within the newly designed community rather than by corporations or governments, everyone in the community has an impact on the well-being of their community and its members.  The members are able to make choices that are important to them such as using green, renewable energy, permaculture landscaping that produce consumable products, and water and sewer innovations that do not compromise human health or the environment.  

To create a community of well-being one must have the privilege of being part of the designing and decision-making of the infrastructure.  No votes would have to be taken because the choice would always be clear based upon the values of well-being as the end goal.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only.  I hope some day you'll join us, then the world can live as one."   -John Lennon


Community Well-Being:

  • safety and security
  • clean air and clean water
  • beautiful parks and architecture
  • things to do and places to meet other members of the community 
  • each member having an impact on the well-being of the community
  • all facilities designed to be accessible all levels of disabilities
  • facilities designed to support all 7 elements of well-being (see below)
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