I was browsing through Quora the other day and came upon a question that reflected a feeling I get from time to time. We have created so many problems on this earth it can be overwhelming and even depressing. It seems like big business wins. We lose homes, salaries and no matter what environmental efforts we make as individuals it feels as if we are peddling nowhere. Kind of like the mice we see spinning in endless circles. Reports flood us constantly about water pollution, storms, financial unsteadiness. I think we feel an underlying anxiety about our daily life. And even if we sign petitions, it seems practical, easy solutions take a back burner to legislative jams. The person asking the question was in environmental studies and felt such sadness over these problems.
What’s my answer? For me, I look to the innovative solutions happening around the world. I have written about one woman’s vision to save seeds in her country and the seed banks she has created : Vandana Shiva and her Navdanya project.
1. I look to the poets and the mystics who recognize that we must take responsibility for our actions. Remember Ghandi said we must be the change we wish to see in the world. We lost an incredible voice this week. Maya Angelou died but her message and her Spirit will inspire us through the coming times.
2. If I buy a product that contains GMO’s such as corn ( most of our corn is GMO either Bt or roundup ready seed) chips then I am not walking my talk. Every item I purchase today goes into a data base that determines the type and quality of food I buy ( as a consumer) and therefore contributes to perpetuating the growing and manufacture of those foods.
3. Popular Science magazine has great articles on the latest innovations: the possible and the futuristic.
4. Inc. magazine features innovative business ideas and the people who implement them. I remember one issue where a successful restaurant owner ( of one physical restaurant) decided to open a second one. He quickly learned he did not like being torn for a number of reasons. The message I got is that he did not let the seduction of more money interfere with a decision that was right for him.
5. I care about the children. I raised my sons on as much organic as I could afford and alternative medicine. The edible schoolyard, for example, began as a way to get quality food into schools and teach the children about the food they were eating. It’s spreading. One teacher in Mississippi has literally changed the menu. Kids in Harlem hip hop to well being.
6. Bette Midler has picked up tons of garbage and replanted areas of NYC. Many folks who do not have her measure of success continue to help everyday in areas of Manhattan picking up garbage one piece at a time.
7. Politics: Marianne Williamson is changing the voice of politics. She speaks from wisdom, compassion and is a leader in the true sense of the word. I encourage you to listen to her message.
Today I was sent an article about folks building solar roadways. They work long hours creating a template. They use recycled materials and they have a great model and proto types in development. Their videos area amazing.
The antidote to being depressed about these problems is to take some kind of action: grow a vegetable; buy a rain barrel and conserve water, stop buying water in plastic, bring reusable bags to the supermarket, make mindful choices : how much packaging? can I reuse it? how long does it last in the landfill? can I give it away? do I really need it? adopt a pet and if you can’t, contribute towards the people who rehab one; sign a petition about whatever bothers you? We have so many opportunities before us and I like to remember that the time of adversity gets us off the couch and doing something. The road before us is lit with opportunity and choice. What will yours be today?
Share your ideas: what one thing have you undertaken recently to contribute to helping the planet in some way? Together we make a difference. In the meantime, worry, depression do not help create our future. Together lets hold a vision of pure water, clean air, healthy, vibrant organic food and more….a bountiful, beautiful planet.