'The Fourth Law of Change says that You Must Create a Healing Forest. The Elders said suppose you have a hundred acre forest that has a disease or sickness. In other words, it is a sick forest.
But then suppose you go to the forest one day and uproot a sick tree and take it down the road and temporarily plant it in a nursery. This is like taking a person out of the community into treatment.
So out there in the nursery you give the tree good soil and minerals, water and sun and all those things to make healthy and natural and how it was intended to be.
One day the tree is healthy again and you bring it back to its community. You bring the well tree back into a sick forest. What will probably happen to that well tree? It gets sick again.
So the entire community must be working on its own healing so that individuals won’t get sick again. The entire community must know itself to be part of the healing forest in order for sobriety and wellness to take root.
The Fourth Law is the basis for the Healing Forest Model we use in the Wellbriety Movement.’
The Native American Four Laws of Change state:
There are two alternative ways to build a community in a neighbourhood.
Firstly, we can focus on a community’s needs, deficiencies and problems. This is the most common approach that is used, but it has a number of serious problems.
The images it creates are overwhelmingly negative. It leads to the development of deficiency-oriented policies and programs. Public, private and non-profit service systems develop and they ‘teach’ people the nature of their problems and the services they need.
Community members come to see that their well-being depends on becoming a client. They begin to see themselves as people with special needs that can only be met by outsiders. They become consumers of services, with no incentive to become productive. They become disempowered.
The alternative path to community development focuses on a community’s assets, capacities and abilities. Historic evidence indicates that significant community development takes places only when local community people are committed to investing in themselves and their resources. Communities are built bottom-up, not top-down.
>> Read more about Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD)