Vtown Introspectus

Vtown Perspective

Vtown Perspective

The town I live in, like many in the US is faced with stark fiscal realities as money supplies shift and real estate markets go someplace no one thought that they would. It is a time for my little town as well as myself to consider how the future should look.

In a historic review of many great cities, you will generally find that  decisions made in times of calamity later proved to be what defined the town. Our neighbor, Santa Barbara is a great case in point.

When an earthquake leveled much of downtown Santa Barbara not long after the turn of the century (Yes a fault runs right up State Street) the city  decided to rebuild and embrace its Spanish heritage. The architecture and unique coastal Mediterranean tableau SB enjoys today can be traced back to that fateful time following a calamity.

Now in a fiscal disaster of relatively large proportions, Ventura is faced with similar opportunities. What direction should we go? How do we not only survive as a city but develop as a community? There will be no specific answers coming from me. I gave that sort of thing up many years ago when I ceased being an employer.

However I do have a perspective that could help. I learned it in watching some very great men and women succeed. We need to include everyone. Great leaders know to do this.

There is an odd thing about Democracy. In and of itself, it is undoubtedly one of the single most inefficient forms of Government. One of the wisest men and leaders who ever walked the earth put it simply when he said; “Where there is strife, there is confusion and every evil work”. Democracy and our judiciary upon which government rests, is based on the adversarial system. Two or more parties argue to a successful conclusion. Um yea.

However on a biological level, Democracy works quite well. Ever read up on hybrid vigor? It is one of the facets related to Natural Selection. (Charles Darwin was a very smart and devout human being) Roughly stated it says that the strong and smart survive to breed and in turn the offspring parent a more vigorous, better version of the tribe. THAT is where we can win.  As a town and as individuals we should play that card.

What often is not so apparent are the fruit of our collective choices as a community. So I hope that my little town embraces it’s diversity. We have a female mayor.¬† Her name is Christy Weir.¬† Christy, being from Santa Barbara originally, is potentially a very good thing for where Ventura is right now.

Over the years I have met a few of the families which birthed Ventura. Ranchers, farmers etc. The Haileys, (Katherine Hailey had told me about how her Father had mapped the county) the McGraths , the Nyes (David Nye who is an amazingly talented litigator has been my friend and attorney for years). All of them own a unique perspective on this land which I, as a relative newcomer of twenty five years, enjoy learning about. Gracious people. To a fault actually.

The images in this blog arose as I was pondering hate after being sucked into being angry by a rather foolish person. Yes fools exist. Typically they flourish for awhile based on the root of pride. I am always looking for that damned root in myself. Something about mankind makes it intrinsic within our nature. But anger aside, I always try to choose the way of love, though sometimes the public perception one acquires when doing so, may make you appear as an enemy to some people. You see this illustrated repeatedly in History. I won’t go into it in detail. The examples are pretty glaring and obvious.

I shot these illustratives the other day down at Solimar. Indeed all of these were shot in one 24 hour period in a place that a colleague of mine calls my muse, Ventura California. Hawaiians have a term for the feeling of connection to the land. It is Aloha Aina. I understand it better than ever these days. All I did was have a look around to get a dose this time.

Seth Godin has some A list advice for Ventura here. He has an ability to say much in a few words. I aspire to that, and am obviously failing, considering the length of my own posts.

Ed Brenegar who is a leadership mentor and proponent had this to say.

Writer Azel Grizwold passes along this excellent New York Times piece.

A local cultural artist, surfer and part of the movement which is defining Ventura as an oasis of modern cultural art is here. Just one of the many faces comprising a movement. I picked Sean Tully as an example because of his youth and idealism. Two things he owns in great abundance. For now. Sort of like our town.

Click on any of the images within the gallery to read the back story.

Public Enemy

Public Enemy

Love and Peace

Love and Peace

Correct Choice

Correct Choice

Yea

Yea

Twilight Sigh

Twilight Sigh

Amber Aloha

Amber Aloha

Solimar Sunset Sunbeam

Solimar Sunset Sunbeam

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6 Responses to “Vtown Introspectus”

  1. Your photos are beautiful. These days, I find both my youth and my idealism rapidly disappearing. Your post helped me remember to try to see a bit of perspective in the crisis’ we encounter. Hope is always with us if we can only relax our worries enough to see it.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Laurie,

    It can get better!

    Many mahalos for the read and the comment.

  3. Ted Reckas says:

    I’m not sure I’m as clear on the distinction between the adversarial system in politics versus evolution as you are. You say we can achieve a greater future if our politics turn away from adversarial relationships and embrace the principle illustrated by hybrid vigor: that future generations become stronger and smarter because of the strongest and smartest surviving and reproducing. But that whole process of evolution is absolutely adversarial. Evolution is predicated on the strong beating out the weak and literally causing them to die off. Sounds like politics as usual to me. I admire your wish to get away from that — I share that wish — I just haven’t seen anyone figure out how to actually do it yet. But then, as M.G. said, Be the change you wish to see…..I’ll shut up now.

  4. gayle says:

    Yield matters, and yours is bountiful, David. Need I say more?

  5. admin says:

    Thanks Gayle. Sure appreciate all that you do.

  6. Eric says:

    It is hard for a person to know who they are, let alone a town of people come to understand what connects them and develop a collective identity for their town. How wonderful it can be when they do.

    I’ve always thought Ventura could become a mecca or a wasteland, all down to the choices the city makes. It’s the corner town by the sea, I think it’s a border town in many ways. This opinion from an out of towner long removed from the area… ;) Good luck!

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