Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.Margaret Mead
I am generally an optimist by nature. I much prefer to practise abundance living ~ celebrating all that I have ~ than following a scarcity mindset focusing on things that I lack; I would plump for gratitude over greed every time. I’m not saying for one moment that I live my life in permanent Pollyanna mode (heaven forbid!) but at times it’s all too easy to be dragged down by negativity and discomfort and so lose sight of the good, positive and hopeful aspects of a given situation. Take, for instance, our plan to go for a beach run and picnic one morning this week; it seemed like a brilliant idea, especially as we arrived there in 21 degrees of warm sunshine and the beach was completely empty. Withing twenty minutes, the rain forecast for much later in the afternoon had rolled in on the back of a howling gale and the temperature had dropped to 12 degrees. Yuk. Nothing daunted, Brave Sir Roger went powering off down the full four kilometres of sand in his indomitable style whilst I decided to run lengths up and down the same kilometre so as not to end up too far from the car; sitting in the dry and nursing a flask of hot coffee suddenly seemed like a much more comfortable (and sensible) thing to be doing!
Within seconds, I was soaked to the skin; the rain was coming at me horizontally like sharp needles and my shins were totally sand-blasted. Running into the wind was a nightmare, I felt like I was going backwards much of the time and with my trainers soaking up water like a sponge, my feet were literally squelching through every step. It was cold and wet and very, very horrible . . . and yet it was wonderful, too. Wonderful to be in such a beautiful wild place, wonderful to be able to move and stretch my body, wonderful to feel the gift of rain on my skin, to feel alive and laugh at my crazy, crazy self.
I ended my previous post sharing my hope of leaving a beautiful and thriving planet for my descendants to enjoy and in this, I must confess, I sometimes struggle to maintain a positive outlook. I am a passionate eco-warrior and I refuse to give up or be beaten, but sometimes looking at the current state of the world, it’s hard to be totally optimistic. Thankfully, I can find great encouragement and inspiration from a wide variety of other people; WordPress blogs, for example, are a great forum for this! For some time now, I have shared a private chat group with our two lovely daughters, Sarah and Vicky, and it has proved to be a valuable and positive support mechanism; we can share tips, bounce ideas off one another, post useful articles, links and photos, discuss our successes and failures, laugh, cry, rant and rave. We are three very different personalities but we are united in our common goals to live simply and sustainably, tread lightly on the earth and do everything in our power to secure a viable, vibrant and regenerative future for all life on the planet. We are also women of action rather than navel gazers so we have decided the time has come to join together, go forth and DO something!
Our plan is a very simple one: to share our ideas and activities with a wider audience using this blog and a Facebook page called 50 Shades of Greenish in the first instance (I have to say at this point, I’m not the world’s greatest social media fan but I also acknowledge the power of outreach using these platforms). Our main aim is to inspire and encourage. We don’t want to preach: why would we? There’s nothing worse than being told how you should be living your life by someone who thinks they know best. We don’t profess to be experts, either; we are still very much travellers on a journey, taking the road one step at a time and learning as we go. It’s not a new idea, of course; there are many, many people out there doing the same thing completely brilliantly but we see no harm in adding our own voices to the cause. After all, we’re not trying to sell anything and this isn’t a competition. We’re three small drops in the ocean but every drop helps, and whatever you might think about Greta Thunberg, she has proved to the world just how powerful even a single voice can be.
More than anything else, we want to acknowledge and celebrate the rich diversity of humankind and try to reach out to everyone and try to show how small, simple changes can make a huge difference. You don’t have to be a tree hugger or a vegetarian or live in a yurt; you don’t have to join a group or be on a committee or go on a protest march; you don’t have to own a bike or a garden fork or a sewing machine. Whilst there can be much value in all those things, what we want more than anything else is to try and challenge the belief that being ‘green’ instantly stuffs you into a pigeonhole. Growing our own organic vegetables is a wonderful thing to do and something all three of us enjoy immensely but it’s not for everyone and why should it be? If someone lacks the land, space, resources, time, skills, inclination, motivation or interest, then making them feel guilty or somehow inferior because they’re not picking their own kale or whatever is no way forward. Perhaps where urban life and culture predominate, the seeds of simple change are the most important ones to be sowing across the worldwide web of humanity.
It’s very exciting and I can’t wait to see where this takes us. If by sharing our experiences and ideas we can inspire and encourage others, then that will be a very wonderful thing and – like the girls playing in the water – I’m hoping that our tiny drops will send bigger ripples ever outwards. Let’s build a community! Please come and join us, get involved, share ideas, tips, musings . . . the more, the merrier. We’d love to have your company along the way! 😊
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