This book is written to support those who care for the well-being of their community. It is for anyone who wants to be part of creating an organization, neighborhood, city, or country that works for all, and who has the faith and the energy to create such a place. I am one of those people. Whenever I am in a neighborhood or small town and see empty storefronts, watch people floating aimlessly on the sidewalks during school or working hours, pass by housing projects, or read about crime, poverty, or a poor environment in the places where our children and our brothers and sisters live, I am distressed and anguished. It has become impossible for me to ignore the fact that the world we are creating does not come close to fulfilling its promise. Along with this distress comes the knowledge that each of us, myself included, is participating in creating this world. If it is true that we are creating this world, then each of us has the power to heal its woundedness. This is not about guilt, it is about accountability. Citizens, in their capacity to come together and choose to be accountable, are our best shot at making a difference. This book is for all who are willing to take a leadership role that affirms the conviction that without a willingness to be accountable for our part in creating a strong and connected community, our desire to reduce suffering and increase happiness in the world becomes infinitely more difficult to fulfill. It is also based on the belief that in some way the vitality and connectedness of our communities will determine the strength of our democracy.
Peter Block is a citizen of Cincinnati; the author of Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Empowered Manager, and The Answer to How Is Yes; and the coauthor of The Abundant Community and An Other Kingdom. A partner in the training company Designed Learning, he is an emeritus board member of Elementz, an urban arts and hip-hop center; a founding member of Cincinnati's A Small Group; a board member of LivePerson; a faculty member of Common Good, a new initiative for community builders; and a founding partner in Economics of Compassion, a pathway into an alternative economy.