The problem: Where to begin? Income inequality in America, crumbling infrastructure, corporations trying to wrest control of the Internet, Citizens United, global warming….pick your issue!
The solution: Say no! —- and — Say yes to an alternative!
I spent a lot of last year being outraged. Well, I’ve been outraged a lot since 2008, watching America change into an entrenched plutocracy. Being outraged, per se, only hurt me. Not paying attention (the tactic I see many – most? – people use) is probably worse.
Now I’m focusing on two alternatives, both of which will create positive change (as you know, that’s my theme for 2012 – create positive change).
Say no to what you don’t like.
Or say yes, to a better alternative.
At a philosophical level, I feel the better strategy is to say yes to the better alternative. My mom used to tell us “you become what you think about” (wise woman!) and one of the tenets of my church (Unity) is that “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind” – i.e., our thoughts create our reality, so best to choose positive ones. I agree with that.
But this pugnacious, passionate Irish girl still gets riled up at injustice and inequality. Rather than wishing I were less bombastic, it’s occurred to me that I can do both – focus on creating good, put my energy into the new world I wish to see. But also continue to say no.
What saying no looks like for me:
- Attending “Occupy the Courts” in Chicago this Friday
- Writing about what needs changing
- Boycotting companies that are egregiously wrong (top of my list: Wal-Mart, followed by Target and BP)
- Getting more involved in Occupy Chicago
What saying yes looks like for me:
- Getting more involved in the Transition Town network
- Getting food from local sources – farmer’s markets, CSAs, my friend’s garden, Farmer Nick (local eggs and chickens)
- Buying locally in general
- Seeking sustainability from the very small acts (cloth bags rather than paper/plastic), to the medium (buying a shredder with my friend rather than each of us buying one) to the larger (investigating co-housing)
I plan to explore more of these this year and will take you along for the ride.
How are you saying no right now?
How are you saying yes right now?
Which feels more natural to you?
I really want to know!