The town of Beerwah is no more. Harsh winds blow dusty through the main street. The sounds of daily activity are absent.
No children play in the streets. No one strolls through the town’s open areas. No one shops in the small stores once owned by people that had long lived in the town and the oversized superstores now abandoned and rapidly losing the superficial sheen and the temporary allure they had when they were new. No trains pass through the town any more. Beerwah has withered away. – Abandoned! … Picture this in your mind.
The change was subtle at first. The pace of life speeded up — just a little at first — but after a while, people stopped greeting each other on the streets. They were busy reading e-mail on their phones or playing games. Instant photos of the places they visited became more important than seeing the places themselves. Faces on computer screens began to seem more real than the people sending and receiving them.
Gradually it became unnecessary to go out of the house to shop or to do anything much at all. And so the last of the small shops — those that hadn’t already been pushed out by the giant, by the stores that made Beerwah look like any town anywhere — had disappeared.
People lost what anchored them by clinging to the superficial – But perhaps – Probably, this is a Beerwah of the imagination. A Beerwah that isn’t and doesn’t have to be!
I heard a story about a little girl in that other Beerwah that overheard her parents complaining about the greed and self-absorption they saw at the heart of all that seemed bad about what had happened to the town. The little girl said something that changed their thinking. She said, “I’m greedy. Greedy is a good thing! I want to be with all my friends, all the time.” The little girl ran outside to play.
And, of course, she was right. Whether greed is good or bad depends on what you’re greedy for. The real Beerwah is a community. The real Beerwah is greedy in a healthy way—greedy for connections. Beerwah is a thriving place that thrives on people coming together and sharing.
Perhaps what most deeply connects the people of Beerwah is their sense of community, their sense of being a part of the history of the place they choose to live in and of at the same time being a part of its future.
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