I made a commitment in January to take more tangible action in the world. I'm very clear on my personal values, and I do my best to live in a deliberate, integral way ... to ensure that my choices and actions align as closely as possible with my values (knowing that this itself is a journey and I'm deeply human and imperfect). But I often question if my actions are impactful enough. Although apparently Mother Teresa did not actually say this, she inspires me to do small things with great love. However, I despair that small things aren't enough to make a tangible difference. I fear for our future - the future of our children. I worry about climate change, with its catastrophic mass extinctions, resource wars, pain and suffering. It makes me sad that some seem to care so much more about their financial bottom line than the health and well-being of others. And I know that I am in SUCH a privileged position ... the last time I calculated my ecological footprint I was totally overshooting ... better than the average in Canada, but not even close to okay.
So I'm trying to seek opportunities to do better. I'm noticing how uncomfortable hard changes can be. I'm totally at ease being mindful of my purchasing ... but am I capable of completely doing away with packaged food? It's relatively easy to hang my clothes to dry and ride my bike most places ... but could I get rid of my car altogether? Could I stop flying? Travel brings me great pleasure, and the work I enjoy often involves flying. I emphasize plants in my diet, and eat vegetarian much of the time ... but can I eschew meat completely? I've done it before ...
And no matter what I end up doing, is it enough? Is it fair to my loved ones to impose my choices on them? How do I reconcile enabling them doing things that I have chosen not to do myself?
In my explorations, I've checked out various organizations in Toronto that are taking more coordinated action. I've attended protests, and written letters. I've posted information on social media (which others may or may not appreciate, but to me this is the beauty of social media ... the spreading of inspiration). I had a lovely conversation last night with a woman involved in Unify Toronto, a group that is working collaboratively to allow collective "small things" to add up to something greater. I'm still learning about all they do, but it looks beautiful to me - integrating ecological mindfulness (with assertive action to reduce global warming), social justice, Truth and Reconciliation, and spiritual fulfillment ... so tightly aligned with my values. They have reached out to collaborate with the team behind the Leap Manifesto, another group that I look to for guidance.
Unify Toronto is offering a five-session series on the Drawdown program, based on a book by Paul Hawken. Unfortunately I can't attend this series (because I have choir rehearsal on Mondays! Another way to make the world a beautiful place ... I hope you can attend our concert!), but I hope others will consider going! I have requested the book from the library and look forward to reading! And I hope to attend another offering of the first session in the series - will you join me?
And during the month of April, I am joining the Drawdown Ecochallenge. I'd love you to join my team! It looks like a fun, tangible way to draw attention to the choices we make everyday and how they have impact beyond ourselves. As per another quote apparently misattributed to Mother Teresa, "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples."