Not everyone likes the word commons to describe the emerging wave of interest in protecting what belongs to all of us.
Here are some of the objections I’ve heard about the term:
• “Not to be totally punny, but the word is too common. You don’t want such an ordinary word describing something as important as the commons.”
• “It is too British. I live in New York City—we don’t do too much grazing here.”
• “It is so old-fashioned. When I hear it, I think I am going to have to endure a re-enactment of Ben Franklin or someone like that.”
• “It is too rural. I feel like I have to go somewhere carrying a small sheep.”
Excerpted from All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons by Jay Walljasper and On the Commons. It first appeared in Kim Klein’s blog Kim Klein and the Commons Kim Klein works with mission-driven organizations with Klein & Roth Consulting and helps non-profit organizations become more effective in promoting social change through the Building Movement Project website.