I’m out of town again this weekend–this time to see the Dude family (and endure the horror show that is Family Portrait-taking)–so I won’t get to this until after most of the discussion is over, but since I’ve been a Debbie Downer lately, I thought this week’s FFT should try something different.
You’ve all read or heard the Gandhi quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Well, it’s a little “glib inspirational t-shirt,” but there’s also something to it. A wise and kind reader helped me realize earlier this week that focusing on “being the change” is a better/healthier/more productive way of being than focusing on “the change you want to see.” Which is what I get caught up in, and what makes me nuttykookoobananasad. Because you can’t ensure the change, whatever you do. All you can do is try and keep trying and fail and try some more. Life’s kind of sucky-magical that way. (Thank you, wise and kind reader. You can out yourself in comments if you want.)Anyway, this week’s FFT is a chance for you to tootle your own horn about the change you are being in the world, even if you aren’t satisfied with the results you might be getting. What do you value, and what are you doing to promote what you value? Since we don’t all have the same values (even here in the Ladyborg-Hivemind!), we can all be different changes, and I’d ask you respect others’ values and changes, even if they aren’t yours, in the comment thread.
…Unless some anti-abortion activist starts chiming in, at which point I hope one of my sister Harpies will shut that shit down.
So, what change/s am I being in the world? There are a handful I could list, but lately, my values have shifted toward anti-capitalism and anti-consumerism, and the change I’m being is that of a seriously conscientious, abstemious consumer. By which I mean I’m buying very little, and what I’m buying, I’m buying locally, or hand-made, or second-hand (I got a couple of long-desired books last weekend in Boston for less than $10, which is the most I’ve spent on non-comestibles since…April?). Almost nothing beyond food, really. Admittedly this is fed by my rather dire financial straits, but I’ve been learning that buying stuff is really not terribly necessary to my happiness and well-being. I miss the services/experiences (going out for drinks or meals, or to the theatre) that money can buy far more than I miss books or music or clothes or whatever. If/when I ever get back to some sort of financial security–that is, have a steady income that will cover my basic expenses–I hope I can remember that lesson and keep my consumerism to a minimum.
There are others, especially being a vegetarian and being a mentor to college-age students (which I take very seriously). What are yours? G’wan, inspire me.