Let’s Be the Change….or at Least Be Part of the Solution!
I head somebody once say that if you planted a rose bush every year, your life would not have been in vain. Well, yes, but I would suggest choosing something that doesn’t have thorns. Also, take a little care to insure you are not planting an invasive non-native when you plant something to beautify your little corner. Which brings us to the question at hand….
Just what can I do practically to “be the change I want to see in the world”?
I’ve pondered this question, and for me, I’ve decided to rephrase it as “how can I be part of the solution instead of part of the problem?”
Our world has some serious problems. It needs some big changes. We’re destroying the planet with our hyper-consumption of goods and resources. We allow and support businesses that exploit the weakest and poorest of our fellow-humans. And we’re just plain mean to each other a good bit of the time!
The internet has brought us all so much closer to each other that we no longer have the excuse that we just didn’t know.
I have made some commitments and changes in my life that, perhaps, will be little seeds sown toward making a better, cleaner, safer world, but my little changes don’t look like much when compared to how much needs to change. Still, perhaps my little practices, if I keep them up and keep adding new positive practices, will at least put me in the category of being part of the solution.
And so here are some of my attempts to better the world….
–I have become pretty faithful about some basic eco-living habits. For instance, I make a real effort to use reusable bags, to recycle, to buy local. Those things aren’t trendy here in the heartland and I feel like I’m swimming upstream sometimes just doing these small right things.
–I am looking into ways to be more intentional about how I spend my money in regards to how it affects others. For instance, I’m pretty consistent about buying fair trade coffee. I’m looking into fair trade and eco-friendly fashion and textiles. A good source of education on this area is the documentary “The True Cost.” It’s on Netflix right now. It’s an expose’ about “fast fashion.”
–I sponsor a couple of children. One is in Uganda and the other in the Philippines. I feel like I fall down when it comes to writing letters to them, but I have their pictures posted to remind me to send my prayers and positive thoughts on their behalf. Sponsorship seems to make a big difference for children, their families, and their communities.
Sometimes I worry that I can’t “be the change” as well as I “should” because quite frankly, I am a very solitary person. I’m an introvert and pretty satisfied with my own company. I see people doing great things, organizing grass-roots efforts, teaching groups of youth, volunteering in community feeding programs, educating others about injustice, counseling addicts and trauma victims, and simply being a part of it all. I admire these people so much!
But frankly, at the end of the day, I want to retreat into my comfortable little home with my internet, my books, and my little extended family, and just be. I want to cook a tasty meal and laugh with my kids. I want to take my husband out for a milkshake. I want to sit on the porch and listen to the cicadas.
I spent some time last night just rocking the grandbaby and singing old hymns to him. He just chilled out sucking on a pacifier and seemed to enjoy it. And in my own small way I feel connected to the current of life, the grand flow of time, as I offer my little gifts to the earth and to the individuals I love.
I don’t know that I’m “being the change” yet, but maybe these little gifts are at least part of the solution.