by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
When we can recognize and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain the strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.” ~ HH Dalai Lama
It is true that more and more people around the world coming to the realization that we cannot go on the way that we have for decades and more. But, while the people recognize that, for many of the governments and especially their backers, the capitalists, business as usual appears to be the way they are going.
Even though many people realize that we cannot go on the way we have and we have to make serious changes they seem to lack, in the same way as regards to politics, the wherewithal to understand that they are the ones who have to lead the change, all together, and not wait for governments to make the first move.
“Be the change that you want to see in the world”, the Mahatma said and in order to bring about change two things have to happen. One is that we have to change and two is that we have to be the change that we want to bring about. That means that we have to change our ways ourselves – without government taking steps, if need be – and be an example to others while we do it.
Many do believe that they are entirely on their own and that they, as an individual or even a family, cannot make an impact but that is not so. Reason being that they are not alone, just not connected to others of the same mind, and thus it is important that, while we do our own thing in the corner where we find ourselves, to join and link with others, even if (only) by means of the Internet, and to network. Everyone, however, believe themselves to be alone and many seem also to wait for someone else to make the first move.
Everyone, in their small corner, where they are, can make a difference and small things, when everyone does them, amounts to a lot and will make a difference. Better still when we can network with others, learn from them, and work together on larger ideas. But the change starts with us and especially within us. That is what we have to remember. Before we can make changes we, ourselves, have to change first and foremost.
The most important thing is not, as many may think, recycling. It is reducing our consumption and that in everything bar the essentials. Changing the way we eat and what we eat is also one of those changes that we should be making, aside from simply reducing consumption.
In making choices what we buy and where we buy and from who also is a great step and everyone can do this. Learning how things are made, where and under what conditions and then choosing accordingly, where possible, as often there is no choice, I know, is also one of those small acts that can make a difference.
Buy local and buy and eat food according to the seasons and preserve stuff for the winter months. Grow your own food or at least as much as possible. Make do and mend. Make your own and reuse, repurpose and upcycle instead of buying new all the time. Those – and many other steps – each and every one of us can take and with those make a difference, and even more so if we can encourage others to do the same.
Begin to understand that the rest of Creation is not, necessarily, there as our servants but as equal partners, so to speak, as our brothers and sisters, and that includes fauna and flora as well. Wolf and bear are my cousins, as well as oak and pine. Learn to live in harmony with Nature and do not try to fight against Her. We cannot win such a war even though the term “fighting nature” is often used for should we ever do win it we will die.
I earlier said changing the way we eat and what we eat is one step and I went then further to say to buy and eat local food and when in season and to preserve stuff for later. In addition changing our diet to a more plant-based one is a further good move to reduce the impact that each of us have on the natural environment and the Planet.
Changing our habits in many small ways can have a great impact and even more so if we can persuade others to follow suit and do the same or similar. Be that as regards to how we eat and what, or as to reusing what others would consider simply as waste which to repurpose or upcycle into things we need and want or by making do and mending. Voting with our wallets for the environment that we want is something that all of us can do, on a daily basis and it will, in the end, bring about positive results.
So, let's all go and do it! We can do it and we can make a change, even if we only can do small steps.