The psychology behind what can be experienced by the senses fascinates me; the musings color brings, stimuli of differing aromatic properties, the formative capability of sound, and use of nonverbal posture. In the illogical, peripatetic manner in which I tend to navigate life, I started this assessment of my community by studying the mental characteristics of the color yellow in lieu of my city name being “Amarillo”.
Vitality, inspiration, and an impetus of creativity and idealism that cognitively resonates and finds its roots in the left side of the brain: all traits I find beautifully incarnated within the vibrancy of those sitting on the other side of the impromptu coffee dates, evenings of delicacies and broken bread, and community orchestrated gatherings of my Amarillo peeps.
Our hope, enigmatic and incalculable, crosses socioeconomic lines and generational differences as our commonwealth, our asset as we struggle together in changing the climate and culture into a more holistic, sustainable, vibrant community. It’s too prominent and robust to dismiss. Ironically, underlying attributes of our community members correlates beautifully with the psychology behind the color yellow. There’s a posture shift taking place and I’m humbled to be invited into a cause greater than myself. I also appreciate the color yellow more!
Of course those are probably all conjecture-based deductions. I’m going to set my heart aside and be pragmatic.
Education: Development has progressed within the public setting to incorporate food production courses in curriculum, but strictly at magnet school locations. Strides taken towards to educate the populous in more sustainable methods has taken place primarily on the shoulders of non-profits.
Health: Diverse outlets exist in the city municipalities, NGOs, and religious based service groups for the well-being of individuals physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our area focuses on distribution of goods and services, mitigating these deficiencies well, but lacks severely the services to equip and empower to enact long-term change.
Spirituality: Incarnational faith communities are nonexistent within our community. Faith is used as a tactic for self-preservation and image. Religion is prevalent and the dominant force.
History: The historical narrative of the indigenous peoples and methodology of living in harmony with the temperament and climate of this region needs to be awakened and capitalized upon. Western, pioneer settlement is addressed and focused upon.
Sense of Place: A negative connotation exists among the younger generations, primarily millennials, grounded in escapism and a belief that setting dictates the promise of who you can become through experience that desperately needs to be fought against. Attentiveness to beauty and a sense of awe and wonder needs to be instilled back into our hearts again. The mentality that we’re “stuck” here is poisoning and vitriolic.
Arts & Culture: Artists are developing their identities and mediums of exploration dynamically, and I’m enthralled to see how it’s used to redeem, awaken, inspire, and be a bearer of hope to us as Amarilloans.
Water Cycle: City coordinators have developed foresight in the future of our water availability, acquiring water rights throughout the Panhandle and across many counties. Development needs to take place in water harvesting infrastructure across the cityscape and in conventional building methods in the residential and commercial sectors.
Wildlife & the Natural World: Efforts are made to expose to the public our vast array of diversity found within our ecology (i.e. Wildcat Nature Center, Botanical Gardens, High Plains Food Bank).
Soil & Mineral Cycle: Repurposing organic matter and energy is undeveloped within city infrastructure.
Foodshed: The Amarillo Community Market has just been initiated, being hugely successful. There are 4 or 5 operational community gardens across the city and movements being made towards greater output and distribution.
Renewable Energy: Not so much.
“A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” – Henrik Ibsen