i’m sitting here in the comfort of my beautiful country home looking out over the bucolic view from our kitchen window… and i’m feeling sad. even though i have tomatoes cooking on the stove waiting to be canned, a warm cup of tea sitting next to my computer, and a fire in the wood stove to keep me cozy, i am grief-stricken at the state of our world. and i am well aware that i am sitting in the position of having an amazing amount of privilege… even the privilege to feel this way, to even have the time and space to think and write about my privilege.
i have so much.
probably more than i deserve.
definitely more than i’ll ever have the opportunity to know and understand.
i am so grateful for every single thing in my life… every person, relationship, object, opportunity to serve, feeling and experience - every single one. yet, despite all of the goodness, i sometimes feel the deepest sadness, grief, anger and outrage at what we continue to do to ourselves and our world. i could go on and on about all these things, but i’ve written so many blogs about it, i’m honestly kind of tired of hearing myself talk about it.
so, in honor of the upcoming holidays in which many of us exchange gifts and some of us write lists to Santa Claus asking for what we want (a questionably commercialized practice for many reasons which i won’t go into now), i’m writing my own very idealistic, yet wholly heartfelt “Christmas list" - not to Santa, but to Life, to God and mostly to myself and my fellow humans:
- for my white friends to learn more about racism, how it affects us all and what we can begin to do about it
- an end to the racism and racial profiling that is, sadly, so rampant in our country
- an end to all slavery and human trafficking everywhere, including my country (yes, it happens here, too)
- an end to nuclear weapons
- green cities globally
- every city utilizing vacant buildings for housing, offices, shops, markets, vertical gardens… what else???
- for food service businesses to provide reusable cups, or better yet to educate and encourage customers to bring their own (i.e. mason jars and stainless steel bottles)
- complete cleanup of the Pacific garbage patch
- all non-renewable energy replaced by alternative energy
- sustainable forestry instead of clear-cutting
- an end to corporate lobbies influencing global policy
- industrial agriculture holdings replaced with local farms (organic, cooperatively and/or farmer-owned)
- affordable electric/solar powered cars and solar-powered roadways everywhere
- an end to food insecurity
- for those who have access to local, organic food to grow their own and to share it with others
- an end to environmental racism
- an end to displacement of peoples due to corporate greed
- flipping the military budget in the U.S. on its head
- really leveling the incredibly lopsided playing field locally, nationally and globally… providing a better way of life for everyone
- for everyone (consumers and producers) to realize that having more stuff and money will never fulfill them and to make sustainable choices
- everyone to commit to as small a footprint as possible
- health care for everyone
- remembering that all species matter, not just humans
- for everyone to be able to die with dignity, on their own terms when possible
- honoring the UN Declaration of Human Rights in every country
- an end to all war… in other words, world peace (yeah, i know…)
i know this isn’t a very cheerful (or nearly extensive enough) list*. but it seems to me we keep making some pretty poor choices in the big picture, and not much has changed over the years (i.e. compare this article about the Copenhagen talks in 2009 to Lima 2014). regardless, i hope you found it interesting, informative or inspiring in some fashion, and that it ignites you to take some kind of action to illuminate your life and our world more brightly, even starting right in your own home.
there is actually a lot going on that is super positive (i’ll share that in my January feature blog), so there is a great deal to be hopeful about. and the truth is... we need your light to add to that list.
we have so much to lose and so much to gain.
probably more than we can imagine.
definitely more than we’ll ever have the opportunity to know and understand.
Happy Holidays and may 2015 see more of our wishes come true.
*this list was written in no particular order including some links knowing that they are but a few of many examples i could have used. if you recommend others, please let me know; i promise i’ll check them out. thank you for understanding.