I was meditating a while ago and put out the question to the universe, “Who am I?” I know. I’ve been asking that a lot lately.
I really hadn’t expected an answer so I was surprised when the words that came into my head were “Truth Teller.”
What? No I’m not. If I was, I wouldn’t keep backspacing over what I’ve written here. I wouldn’t be thinking that I sound too negative, too radical, too angry.
And which truth would I tell? There’s my truth. There’s your truth. There are a million truths out there. There are even “alternative facts” to contend with now.
As I watch 2017 draw to a close, I can’t say I’m going to miss it. Unfortunately, I also can’t say I’m looking forward to 2018. Generally, a new year has a feeling of new possibilities, but not this time.
But we can’t just drop out. The world needs everyone doing creative, positive stuff to combat the destructive, ugly stuff. But to do that, we need to first have the strength. And I don’t.
I have my bag of tricks for dealing with difficult times. I’ve been hitting pretty much all of them and finding them sadly inadequate in helping me get through this year. At one point, I began rifling through my drawers looking for a container of anti-depressants I knew had to be laying around.
The long term effect of this presidency and this congress and the judge appointments is something that will leave damage that will be difficult to undo. Maybe undo is the wrong word. Because it has a touch of trying to go back to something in the past. That’s the mistake we’re making right now. Every time we get a new party in the presidency and/or congress, they (and we the people) end up focussing solely on undoing the work of the previous elected officials.
We need to do better than that. It will take some really smart, creative people to think in completely different ways than our old theories on economic growth and job stimulation through tax cuts for businesses. Why do we keep doing the same things over and over again when they don’t work? I’ll tell you why, lack of imagination. Or lack of new ideas. Or new ideas based on old measurements of “success.” It’s not just our government that is screwed up on this. It’s us, because some of what they are doing is based on what they hear their constituents asking for.
Since I don’t have the big answers or the ability to implement them if I did, and because I’m just barely hanging in here, I look for what I’m capable of doing. What kind of world would I like to see and how can I create a little bit of that?
Less Consumption and Waste
I read about what we as individuals can do to cut down on consumption and waste – stuff like buy things with less or no packaging, use your own containers when shopping and buy from the bulk aisle, recycle and compost, avoid plastics.
That last one I’ve been trying to do in clothing purchases too, because of the issues with microfibers not only polluting the ocean but also being a health risk to us. But it’s very hard to find anything that doesn’t contain some form of synthetics. There are other solutions like improving the quality of materials so they don’t shed off the microfibers and improving the filters on washing machines but companies don’t seem very interested in that. The only way they will see it is a priority is if consumers begin to demand such things (hint, hint). Treehugger.com has a good article (actually many articles) on the problem with plastics.
Permaculture is Good
I’m making plans for my yard based on what I’ve read and heard about carbon farming and how mulch can help with pulling CO2 from the air and converting it to plant material and/or soil organic matter. OK, I don’t exactly understand everything I’m reading, but what I get out of it is “permaculture is good.” It helps rebuild our soil, does something about the CO2 problem, promotes biodiversity of plants and animals, and gives you food from your own yard that is pesticide free. You can hear more about that on the podcast “For the Wild; Interview with Calla Rose Ostrander and John Wick.”
Small Pieces Add Up
If I can change my yard and learn enough, maybe I can eventually talk intelligently and promote these practices. Maybe this is my small piece of doing something. The piece I can manage right now.
I think we all have our pieces that we can do. We all have different talents to contribute. And we shouldn’t feel bad or give up if what we have to give doesn’t seem to be as big or important or grand or smart as what someone else is doing. What you do matters, it really does.
Don’t let anyone (especially yourself) tell you differently.