Shine on.

Image result for karl popper tolerance

When I started this blog a few years ago, the intent was to share the ways in which The Goat and I were attempting to live lightly, leave a small footprint, be green, or basically how we were attempting to live in such a way that we would use our, and Earth’s, resources, wisely.

Since then a lot has happened.   That’s to be expected, as life moves forward day by day, hour  by hour, minute by minute.  We get older, all of us.  Situations at work change.  Situations at home change – sometimes due to everyone getting older, sometimes due to work, sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, like an accident or sudden death of a family member.  Fashion, pop culture, and society’s ideals and positions change.

Right now America is going through a huge moral quarrel, and it will get ugly, because it already has.  Each time something horrible happens, my heart breaks a little more.  I can’t wrap my thinking around the hatred spewed almost daily on the nightly news.  I can’t grasp how someone can hate an entire group of people with such ferocity that they lose sight of the objects’ humanity.

Throughout modern history there has always been an “enemy” – and for some reason we like to assign them a color?!  This idea that the “other” is evil propagates an ideology of fear and hatred, entitlement and superiority, and the ever popular “us vs. them” mentality.  While it might be an acceptable attitude at a sporting event, it’s not acceptable elsewhere.

I’m tired of this “us vs. them” ideology.  There is no “them”.  We all live on a small planet with limited resources.  There’s just humanity.  That’s it.  Every human on this rock needs to eat.  Every one of us needs a safe place to sleep at night.  Every single one of us is linked to someone else.  We all need assistance from others, every single day.  You might not think so, but someone works at the power plant that feeds electricity to your home.  Someone wrote that app you can’t live without.  Someone harvested the veggies at the grocery store, yes even the ones that are imported from across the globe.  Someone butchered the cow that provided the burger you grilled last night.  Someone made the fabric from which your clothes are made.  You get the picture.

I may have digressed a tad, but I felt it a bit necessary to do so before getting to my point, which is that I’m going to strive to return to the original intent of this blog – sharing and documenting our attempts to live life the best we can, while using our resources wisely – be that upcycling, gardening, choosing our products carefully, or sharing healthy habits and ways to improve our life.

Right now things look pretty dark; and the only way to overcome darkness is to shine a light.  Once one candle is lit, it’s easy to light a second from the first’s flame, and a third, and a fourth, and a fifth…  We all need to find those people that help us stay positive, keep up the work we’re doing, and to stay focused on the bigger picture – living a good life while leaving a planet for all of those that come after us.

By forcing myself to refocus on the bigger picture I’m hoping to help others do the same.  Because as one of us shines brighter and shares their light with others, the light begins to overcome the darkness, making it easier for all of us to see a way out.

Image result for victory gardenCorny?  Maybe.  Mostly, I’m hoping to remind myself that while the Paradox of Tolerance is very real (see photo above), climate change is happening, violence is becoming the norm, and the political climate is tenuous (and historically reminiscent), sometimes the best acts of patriotism, defiance, and activism look very similar.  And sometimes they are as simple as planting a garden, mending a shoe, or freezing your leftovers…

So can your salsa, mend your shirt, and learn an apocalyptic life skill.  You don’t need to carry a protest sign to be a light in a dark world.  Shine on.