The following blog was written by a guest blogger, our very own Don Damsteegt who serves on Foundation 2’s Board of Directors.  Don was inspired by the origin of Foundation 2’s name and the connection between Foundation 2 and Blue Zones.  Learn more below!

Foundation 2 Has a Positive Purpose

What’s in a name?  Names can be meaningless or meaningful, like being named after a valued family member who died.  What is does Foundation 2’s name mean?  When Foundation 2 (F2) was founded in the 1970’s, fiction writer Isaac Asimov had written his Foundations Trilogy, describing a future time when some humans left earth and founded outposts in the galaxy.  One group, the Second Foundation, founded a different kind of community in which important social and psychological issues of the day were addressed, but from behind the scenes, without constraint by the mainstream culture.

In the years since its creation, F2 has evolved into a major agency providing services for people in crisis including phone counseling, a youth shelter, a food pantry and transitional housing. We have stayed true to our roots in that we are still behind the scenes, not as well-known as some larger agencies, but providing vital psychological and social services.  F2 adds to the quality of life in our city and region.

That description of a counter-cultural group, working behind the scenes to improve the quality of life of all citizens, has parallels with today’s Blue Zones movement.  Blue Zones are special places where citizens voluntarily commit to practicing healthy behaviors, creating healthy social networks (moais), healthy eating (stopping when 80% full) and taking time to slow down and relax.  The Blue Zones movement which is currently taking off in Cedar Rapids and Marion, is also a behind the scenes movement, trying to improve the quality of life for citizens, without being part of the “establishment.”

The Blue Zones movement and F2 are similar in that they appeal to the best in us, reminding us that to have quality of life, we have to make certain choices.  We must commit to healthy personal choices and we must reach out a hand to our fellow travelers in need.  By supporting the Blue Zones and F2 we help to bring alive Asimov’s vision of a place where important social and psychological issues of our day are addressed from behind the scenes.

-Don Damsteegt, Foundation 2 Board Member

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