Small Practice, Big Impact

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Our economy is determining the trajectory of humanity;

when it should be our humanity that determines the trajectory of our economy.

It’s overwhelming to consider our impact on the planet. To know where to start and how to make a difference: or if one person can make a difference at all in this world of 7 billion people.

It’s overwhelming when we think about it. It can make your head hurt. Then I remember Van Jones speaking about how an authentic stand doesn’t come from your head but your heart.

“…And if you start thinking about it, you’ll sit down. But if you feel it you’ll stand up!”

“…it’s when you stand up you license other people to stand up. Now you standing up by yourself don’t make a dad-gum bit of difference in the rational world. You’re just one fool standing up. But if you’ve ever seen a standing ovation? It starts with one fool standing up. And then pretty soon the whole stadium is standing up. And it’s a different moment!”

We can make it a different moment. Every moment. In every choice we make.

I have to admit, I sat down for awhile. I fell back into numbing consumption of whatever suited my or my family’s purpose at the time. It was like I had a little nap in my chair. It just seemed easier. But I’m awake again and on my feet.

Grateful for the abundance in my home and my life, it has become a source of agitation: all this stuff. I no longer see the stuff but see its source, its impact on the planet, and its inevitable journey into the landfill. And I see a simple solution.

We make it simple by following one practice: asking what is the cause and effect of this purchase? We can slowly shape the economy one purchase at a time by considering this practice. By standing up.

Was nature impacted by its production? Toxic chemicals released into the environment? Loss of habitat? Or trees planted and sustainable resources used.

What people were impacted and how? Child labour or fair trade?

Where will it go once I’m done with it? Reuse, recycle, or landfill?

Most importantly: do I need it?

Someone once said that when you are in a store and ready to make a purchase on impulse, to go home, wait a day or two, and if you still want it go back for it. My version has become: when I want something I turn to yoga to determine if fulfillment of that desire can be found instead by meeting myself on my mat or in meditation. It usually can.

But when I am in need of something, I consider the cause and effect of the purchase and look for more sustainable or just options available.

Often it’s easier to simply not consider this practice at all. To be in the moment of desire, need, want, and fill that order, assuming everything will work itself out. But with the population moving towards 9 billion people in 2050 we no longer have that luxury.

And we no longer need it.

We know happiness does not stem from stuff. We know fulfillment happens in our relationships, in our outlets of creativity and communication, in our love and appreciation of nature and wildlife.

We know contentment comes from within and we know we can live simply and joyfully while moving from consumption to conservation.

Don’t think it’s over your head or it’s government’s responsibility to look after our resources and our economy. Get informed. There are many ways to do so. Understand humanity’s impact on the planet and the steps we need to take now in order to enjoy a future.

It’s time that we feel the most purposeful that we’ve ever felt: using our humanity to shape our world. It may begin in the small world of your home, but it ripples to the larger home we all share. Commit to sourcing sustainable solutions. Commit to the practice of karma, or cause and effect, and consider the impact of your purchasing power. It’s time to stand up.

 

It’s time we all stand up. Together.

 

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