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Melvin's Philosophy

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest due to ethnic and religious strife, the world is at a turning point. I hope we evolve as a society and realize that this is indeed an unprecedented opportunity. But to do so we can’t just create idyllic models of the world we want and expect them to be adopted universally. The optimal world I envision Los Angeles is probably not the world you'll see in Billings, Montana or Lagos, Nigeria. Each community brings different needs and resources to address these needs. Our goal should be to create a world that empowers the maximization of local resources.

Melvin’s Neighborhood is not a model of a Perfect World, rather it’s a construction kit for you and your community to build your own using the materials you have. Our philosophy of societal structure is based on that prevalent in nature, the rhizome. The rhizome is an underground root-like network that sprouts growth perpendicular to the surface. Where the growth occurs depends on the resources available; water, nutrients, distance to the surface and restrictions. I believe this is how our communities should evolve; not through institutions and hierarchical inequity – but through the actions of the people of our communities and the unique resources, gifts and talents they bring.

The Neighborhood network is built on a the bleedingEDGE Engagement Platform that coordinates the activity of the community; including small business communication, NGOs, volunteer programs, and health and well-being prompts and suggestions. At the core of Melvin’s Neighborhood is the concept that if each us is healthy so will our community will be. While the road to get there will be different for each locale, the platform mechanics and structure is constant, as are the tenets we’ve built Melvin’s Neighborhood around. Regardless where you live, we assume these tenets will be used as the touchstones we hold on to to guide our decision making as we individually and collectively make the way on our journey.

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Tenets

  • Melvin’s Neighborhood is about the community first … not the individual. With the strength of the community will come the resultant strength of the individual. That said, while the community is the priority, a community is essentially the aggregate of its parts – its people. For the community to be healthy – first must the people be. The relationship between the two is essentially a morph of one.

  • We do not care about existing structure and archaic systems. The Neighborhood cares only about finding the needs of the community and addressing these needs using whatever resources available. Legacy institutions hold no weight in this new ecosystem. Their value lie only in the insight, both positive and negative, that can be gained from them.

  • The basis of Melvin’s Neighborhood is “human capital.” Every member of the community is unique and adds to fabric of the community. Everyone has something to offer and everyone should be heard – no matter their age or social standing. It’s our duty to help them realize their value and maximize their potential.

  • Melvin’s Neighborhood practices the concept of ”Resource Maximization.”  ” Don’t worry about what you don’t have … use what you have.” Traditional civic functioning looks for outside assistance first, assuming the status quo is static (unchanging). We look to maximize, realign and leverage current resources to address dynamic needs and opportunities. The world is dynamic – so we must live in it in a dynamic fashion.

  • Melvin’s Neighborhood is a lifestyle. It’s tenets should be maintained throughout your life. The Neighborhood is not something you participate in – it’s a mindset, a lifestyle that revolves around health (physical, mental and social) for both you and those around you in your community.

  • Wealth is not just about money. Your “personal currency” can take any form. We must reward accomplishment on a multitude of avenues. Our goal must be to nurture a “personal currency” within each person that they themselves strive to build. In other words, it’s about quality of life.

  • Cross pollinate. It’s not enough just to accept people who are different and act outside the norms – we must activity seek out their input. These outsiders will be the one who give us the insight to address the issues of today and especially the future. Sameness is a disease – and a show of emotional and cerebral lethargy.

  • Melvin’s Neighborhood builds the community by strengthening locally owned business. We are “Changers of Commerce” empowering the Davids against the Goliaths. Local ownership provides ongoing multi-generational rooting and stability. It give those in decision-making positions a vested interest in the community.

  • The present and future of the community is its youth. We must look at our youth for the vision of tomorrow – not mold them to fitting into ours of the past. We should give them guidance and the lessons gained from our successes and failures so they are best positioned to lead. The vision of community it embraces must include the relevance of each generation (and sub-generation) that inhabit it. This keeps us current, agile and informed.

  • Every community is different. Melvin’s Neighborhood is just a “tool box.” How you use the tools will be up to you. The Neighborhood will provide its Residents and Front Porches with tools, including a technical platform and rhizomatic structure to build on. While there will be basic tenets – what is built on the foundation must be completely up to the community’s residents, young and old.

  • Melvin’s Neighborhood must lead by example. The embrace of this societal alternative will not be consistent throughout the populace. There will be innovators, early adopters, the middle mass, laggards and those who will never come around. Accept this; regardless their acceptance level – they are still part of the community. Do your best to show them the way and accept the result.

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