"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Friday, 9 November 2012

So should we give up hope?

So many people feel daunted and depressed when they read about the seemingly intractable issues facing our world around Climate Change, water shortages, food shortages etc. This is sad, because I'm sure that most of us are already doing our own things even if only in a small way, trying to change our eating and spending habits for example, recycling where we can, etc. etc. And every little action helps and we should all congratulate ourselves for those. But what if we all tried to change our behaviors in just one more small way - we could all start Ripples of Hope for a better world!

I think it is really a case of finding what appeals to each one of us - we all have different skills, all have things we couldn't possibly do. That doesn't matter. I can think and I can write (at least I think so!) but I'm not hot on the organizing side - some people are quite the opposite - don't ask me to organize a coffee morning or a play group - some would relish it!! 

So rather than focusing on the big picture issues of climate change, population growth, energy and water depletion, all a bit daunting and depressing to some, let's look at other simpler yet powerful ways to do our little bit to help and the simplest thing we can all do is to connect more closely with the food we eat, the choices we make about our life-styles, and the realities of materialism and consumerism and its consequences. Here are a few links to follow up:

The concept of the Transition Town started in the UK in Totnes, but it is now worldwide and gaining significant ground in the US. But this can seem too big and daunting for some, especially if there is no action going on local to your home.

So there is Incredible Edible, which has specifically identified food as a simple yet effective way of contributing to a better world. It started again in the UK, and I am not sure if it has reached the US yet, but on its well developed website it gives lots of ideas and inspiration and encouragement relevant to anyone who has the concern of the world at heart, wherever you live.
For example how about having a meat free day each week? This is something all the non veggies could do once a week - a good start!! - and there's loads of other items and blogs on the site full of ideas for us all.

We vote three times a day when we decide what we eat! Organic? Local? Meat? fair trade? (in sense of ethical trading, not necessarily FairTrade).
You could try the fairtradeusa (every purchase matters) site for a start.

Then for those affiliated to any church or other place of worship are you only using fairly traded tea, coffee, biscuits, wine etc? I have just given a presentation to our own Parochial Church Council Meeting in our church to move this along, and I'm giving a training session in 3 weeks time to a local church group here on making ethical shopping decisions. 
Some Dioceses have already declared themselves FairTrade dioceses.

And there's EcoCongregation - sponsored by A Rocha, to encourage churches to lead by example by becoming "greener" and more eco friendly. Energy efficiency, and so on. Eco-congregation is a tool to help churches begin to address environmental issues in all that they do. It is suitable for all kinds of churches to use, and it has developed across the USA and the UK. 

So there really is plenty we can all get on and do in our own small ways: small things, one step at a time, and don't let yourself be depressed by the seemingly hopeless situation. It is not hopeless at all - but urgent yes!

Finally there are loads of sites on the Internet where if we don't think we can do anything else, we can at least sign petitions! Avaaz is a good place to start.

There you have it. Just a few ideas to start the ball rolling!
Please tell me of your own favorites.  

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