Changes need to be made, and I have come to the conclusion I can no longer wait for others to make those changes happen. While I have long held to the idea that the changes required were too big to be handled by individuals acting on their own, I now realize they are too urgent to not be confronted in every way possible. And thus I, one has always avoiding being a role model or placing attention upon myself, seek through my actions to be an example of how we must live in the next year. Please don’t think it is because I consider myself special that I do so. It is only because I am no different than anyone else that I think my actions can inspire others. If this porkchop-eating, shopping-as-entertainment human being can commit to building a better world, then heck, anyone can.
Once I believed our government should lead us in change, but now I see it is hopelessly corrupted and will never change until confronted with an undeniable commitment by the populace. Once I was lulled into silence by those who spoke so certainly that the free market would make all good things come to pass, now I realize it is only an engine driven by our collective greed, fear, and insecurities. No, our institutions will not save us, they will eventually lead us to our deaths. Only us, acting out our humanity, can make the world what it needs to be. If we allow our institutions to stamp out the best and most human in us, there is no hope for our species, at least none that I care to speculate.
Here then are my resolutions in support of revolution:
-I resolve to abstain from animal products to the best of my ability. I am not saying I will be perfect but year by year I have gotten less dependent on them and this year I will push myself away from the unnecessary inclusion of meat, dairy, and eggs in my diet. This is important to me both from an environmental aspect and because it expresses my commitment to non-violence. I don’t have to kill animals to sustain myself, and I sure don’t want them living their entire lives in the most deplorable of circumstances. My abstaining from animal products will reduce the amount of land required for agriculture, which can then be given back to nature to do with as she pleases.
-I resolve to eliminate plastic from my life as much as possible. There is no need for me to ever use a disposable plastic bag. None. Furthermore, there is no need for me to drink water from a disposable plastic bottle. If I am too lazy or forgetful to bring my own cup or bottle to work, I can drink from the water fountain or cup my hands beneath the faucet. When I go to the grocery store, I will not put my fresh vegetables and fruit in the plastic bags provided if I can help it. Why waste a bag for one pepper or onion? I will not use straws. I will in every instance, think long and hard about how I can avoid plastic when making a purchase. If I am at an ice cream shop, I will choose to eat it out of a cone if the alternative is to use a plastic spoon. Simple choices that at the worst will do little for the planet, but will cost me nothing.
-As much as possible, I will try to eliminate doing business with corporations. I have had my prescriptions changed from Walmart to a locally-owned pharmacy. I will buy what I can from local shops and restaurants, will buy my food from local farmers. And if I feel the urge to buy something and it is only available through Amazon or some other huge corporation, I will ask myself if I really need it that much. I have found that most of the time the answer is no.
-I will, as much as possible without making an annoyance of myself, alert people to the reasons I am making these decisions. Not in a judgmental but in an inspirational way. Everybody loves nature, everybody love turtles and clean water and bumble bees. I want to remind people that they have the power to protect nature and make the world a better place.
So how about you, what are your New Year’s Revolutions? I know it’s kind of late to bring it up but if you have any, please share. Otherwise, let the idea sit in you mind for a while and see what you start practicing in the lead up to 2020. They need not be the same as I have shared, in fact I am confident many of them will be more creative and ambitious than my own. I just felt the need to get the ball started, or at least add my name and commitment to a movement that will never start with our institutions and must begin with us average human beings. Here’s to a Happy New Year!