10 Feb 2014
Your ‘Step Up’ moments: No.4: Sally Elias of Transition Dorking
My ‘Step Up Moment’ came in the form of three questions that challenged me, and reframed my sense of how to be on this planet. The first one came when I was persuaded to attend a ‘Be The Change Workshop’ by my niece. As part of that magical process came the question ‘When you throw something away – where is away?’ It completely messed with my head and changed the way I viewed everyday behaviours that I had previously not given a second thought.
A few months later I sat with my 19 year old daughter watching ‘The Age of Stupid’. The question posed by Pete Postlethwaite’s futuristic Noah character at the end of the film from the year 2055: ‘Why didn’t we do more to stop this from happening to the planet?’ again shook me to my foundations.
I took a sideways glance at my daughter and felt ashamed.
This coincided with a local campaign I was working on stop cuts to funding for our local theatre. I was very surprised to get a phone call from a wonderful French lady who said ‘I am from Transition Dorking – would you like some help with your campaign to save this local amenity?’ I had been active in community campaigns before and I had never had an offer of help so freely given!
So I met with the embryonic group of Transition Dorking, bringing a few of my friends along and felt as if I had come home. We talked a lot, planned a lot and drank a lot of red wine! After years of working within the constraints of the more adversarial party political model it felt more comfortable to work towards an aim that I wanted to achieve rather than against things I didn’t want to happen.
I love the fact that Transition’s aims are simple, accessible and can make for tremendous fun.
I now work actively in various teams including our core team as well as Pop Up Shops, Pop Up Restaurants, Golden Ticket Shop Local Events, Foodfloat and I also co-ordinate a team of people who write a column about Transition for the local paper.