Here we are at the end of 2016…a turbulent, bumpy and confusing year. This is as good of a place as any to leave some thoughts and action steps moving forward. My perspective this past year is that as humans, we tend to dwell on what’s wrong instead of being focused on solutions and taking action. I’m working on taking more action in my life with less hesitation, which as an introvert can be challenging at times. So let’s reflect to take action…
- We’re ready to move forward. It could be argued America has hit bottom, and a lot of ugly was exposed this year, much of which has been in-hiding. Our country has major social, economic and environmental flaws. They are being exposed and the call to band together and take action has never been stronger.
- ACTION: Join that organization you’ve been hearing about in your community. Go to city council meetings and speak up to have your voice heard. Call out injustices as you see and hear them – DO NOT let racial,xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic comments go unanswered. Give your honest feedback to corporations, organizations and groups that positively or negatively affect you, the power of social media has never been stronger.
- Great strides have been made in alternative energy and food systems. Farmer markets and local produce has never been more accessible or popular. The U.S. solar market has nearly doubled, over 119% in 2016 as compared with 2015. Watching the growth of community through solar and local food initiatives has been incredible. I truly believe community, health and prosperity can be built through a local-regional food system. A cooperative renewable-energy system compliments this (See my previous post, “Rethinking Americas Energy Infrastructure).
- ACTION: Purchase from your local farmers market as much as possible – the benefits here are abundant (as is seasonal produce!). If no farmers market is in your area, look for cattle-shares, CSAs, grocers that purchase regional goods. Look into solar for your house, consider a hybrid or electric vehicle, or buy a really cool travel solar panel for you or as a gift! The action steps here are endless, I’d be happy to brainstorm many more that can work for you!
- Through all the darkness, there are a lot of individuals doing incredible work to change the world. I can think of dozens of individuals who are revolutionizing the way my own community lives and operates. From brew masters, solar power innovators, music makers, to water protectors – there is a lot of good happening around. Soak in those moments and become empowered and energized from those taking action around you. Change happens collectively, but it begins with an individual.
- ACTION: Incorporate the Buddhist philosophy of being present. Allow yourself to enjoy your own accomplishments and be amazed by others. Keep working towards your humble ambitions, no matter how big or small. There is a lot of moving parts in our everyday life, but those things that you really put effort into will come together. Each of us has a unique voice and skills that can be contributed to a better world.
These are just a few high-level thoughts. I invite you to reach out to me to discuss some actions you have or want to incorporate into your life. Collaboration is so important and we all possess the power to take ACTION.
“With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.” -Max Ehrmann