I am thrilled to see more and more people standing up to say ENOUGH! Enough to greed and to profit mattering more than the planet and justice. Enough to sitting by and merely complaining. Enough to growing inequality.
But marching, chanting and occupying public spaces is just the beginning. For change to really happen people have to back the protests by changes in how they live. I personally think the changes are rewarding, worthwhile, and long over due even beyond playing a part in taking back our power from corporations and a privileged few. Here are some ideas for places to start:
- Shop small, independent merchants.
- Choose family owned businesses over chains even if it cost a few cents more or is a little less convenient.
- Before you buy it new, consider the possibility of buying second hand, trading, or borrowing things.
- Look for ways to barter and trade for goods and services.
- Choose relationships and experiences over things.
- Explore the public spaces and events in your area — parks, libraries, old cemeteries, festivals and fairs, historical sites, river banks and beaches. Find one you really like and volunteer to help out there.
- Tell people about the discoveries you make in your own communities. Local businesses and attractions don’t have huge advertising budgets so help them out by word of mouth and through social media.
- Pick a passion and find a way to volunteer with a group that is related to that passion.
- Say hello to your neighbors but don’t stop there – get to know the people in your community.
- Turn off the television.
- Celebrate music. If you can’t make it yourself, support independent artists and local musical events and groups. Music not your thing then support your local theater groups as a member of the cast or crew or as an appreciative audience member.
- Don’t settle for soundbites; educate yourself about the issues of the day. I bet the reference librarians at your public library would be thrilled to point you to good resources.
- Slow down and consider your actions and the implications; challenge yourself to think of the alternatives.
- Choose natural foods that are in season and produced as close to you as possible using sustainable and humane methods.
- Rediscover simple pleasures and delights.
- Find or create a group to discuss the issues and work toward solutions. Places to look might include the transition town movement, green drinks, etc.
- Learn a new skill and then teach it to someone else.
- Stop judging people by how they look, what they earn, and what they own. Evaluate actions, character, and what people give back to the world.
- Treat others with humanity and compassion — smiles and hugs are free, produce no pollution, and can change a person’s day and sometimes even their life.
- Reject mindless conformity and celebrate creativity and individuality.
- Ask hard questions and don’t settle for non-answers.
So what suggestions would you add to the list?