Today, I was inspired. It’s a wonderful thing, to feel thus, and I want to celebrate it. Marti McKenna is a writer, editor and blogger. I’ve never met the lady but today we connected in a very important way. I admire her: she took the words “Be the change you want to see” and did something with them.
Thanks to Marti’s message (read, follow, share Girl, Empowered), I also made a choice. It is not the same one as Marti, but I put into action what I’d been thinking.
But first: there’s a post in my journal ‘drafts’ that will remain there because it is an increasingly incoherent rant filled with frustration and rage. It has become my emotional dumping ground, and it’s getting longer, and more despairing. “Look at the shit going on,” I keep writing – to myself – in every which way but out-loud. “But what can I do?”
Steve and I have been trying, for years now, to live sustainably. We bought our first sailing boat in 1998. We moved onboard in 1999. We’ve tried, time and again, to live off the grid and failed, because there were so many lessons to learn (or re-learn) first.
Our friends and family put their hands over their eyes, shake their heads. “When are you going to settle down?” my 80-something mother still asks. We’ve never owned any other home than our boat, never accrued the things she associates with “success”, (such as “money” and “security”). We’ve acted spontaneously, judged poorly, been lucky: very lucky – we know it.
My mother, bless her, remembers the Great Depression and she’s right to be worried. Steve and I have followed our dream, then run back to the “real world” to earn the $$ so that we can pay off what we owe in order to try again. Here we are, right now, in Vancouver working again (we’re eight months down that line, while Haven waits for us on a mooring in Grenada), to earn the money we need to fix her … but this time, it’s different. This time, I don’t think we’re going to have the time to recover, and I’m not just talking about us.
But I digress. Making a change is all about your personal choices. It has to be. If you don’t think that you can make a difference, you’re wrong. The sort of thing I’m talking about will be different for everyone, but most importantly, it must be a positive choice that you can sustain. That is the key word. I saw a cartoon last year, and I’ve searched and searched for it again. (If anyone reading this has seen it, please send me a copy.) It has one person holding up a placard: “What can one person do?” while all around stands a world of people, asking the same question.
I hate that the words “Be the change you want to see” were co-opted for a political campaign, but they’re still damn good words. If you want to take back your political system, your food, your water … your world … then be the change and start now. DO SOMETHING. Right now: share Marti’s Girl Empowered link for a start. Celebrate someone’s choice, then make your own, create a network.
Right now we have a weapon for change that is new in our history. Use it:
My choice? Well, as of today, I will not buy food that is not locally produced. In the Caribbean, local produce is right there, by the side of the road. Oftimes, the vendors come to you, but while we’re in Vancouver … well, Australian oranges, Californian apples, mandarins from China … not to mention meat … (if you want help with that decision, watch Earthlings). The point is, I always looked for local produce, but if it wasn’t there, I bought what I wanted if I could afford it. Now, I will just not buy it. My choice.
In the spirit of sharing, here’s some links, just for starters – feel free to offer up more!
Naomi Klein, John Pilger, Chris Hedges (in particular: In depth interview on C-Span), John Perkins, (Confessions of an Economic Hitman), the BBC’s “The Century of Self“, “The Fluoride Deception“, and if you don’t yet believe you’ve been thoroughly frakked: “Gaslands” and “Tapped“.