Saturday, February 7, 2009

True Believer

From the bean of Green Bean

A week ago, one of my best blogger friends shot up a distress flare, asking for light in a sea of darkness.

I couldn't respond with much in the way of hope as others did. The news, whichever way I looked at it, was bad. Climate change is here to stay. One in four mammals face extinction. My state is knee deep in a drought and flooded in debt. My son's school district borders on bankruptcy and daily discusses cutting PE, closing libraries, and gutting teachers' salaries. Thousands of jobs are lost daily and many families I know struggle to keep their homes.

I believe we are in for a hard landing. We've lived beyond our means - economically, ecologically, even spiritually. We've traded our planet for profits, our beliefs for baubles, and our inherent sense of what is right for dollars and cents. We are past due.

I believe, though, that we have also been presented with a tremendous opportunity. One that will allow us to reinvent ourselves as a people. To realign our values. To treasure our families, to look within and know ourselves, to look into the future and know what our children need. To reach out to neighbors and across borders, to save beautiful places and even more beautiful creatures. To find, again, that which we most admire and to find it within ourselves.

I believe we are better than we have become. That we are stronger than we realize. More resilient. More diligent. More generous and more mindful.

I believe that this crises offers us the enlightenment we've lacked. The education we've craved. The cause we need. Over the next decade, the world as we know it will shift. We will embrace volunteerism, instead of shoe shopping, as therapy. We will realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch and we will get our hands dirty growing one. We will turn our backs on the big box stores that have plundered our planet and pocketbooks and return to our downtowns, our independent shopkeepers, and our neighbors. We will fix this system from the bottom down, not the top up as our politicians and corporations would have us do. We will rebuild in our schools, our energy system, and ourselves.

I believe that our children will one day call us "the greatest generation".

Because, as bad as the news is, I believe that we are better.

This is my submission for the Green Moms Carnival of February 2009. The topic is "I believe . . ." and a carnival of posts can be found at The Smart Mama on February 9th. Please check out the carnival and the Green Moms - who just won the Twitter Shorty Award for Best Green Content. Woot!


Jenni at My Web of Life said...

Amen Sistah!!

Have you seen the 'Lost Generation' video yet? It gives me hope at a time when we are being told that things are hopeless. I've always believed that circumstances must get more difficult before we can achieve change for the better, whether in our own lives or globally. You summed that idea up well.

Thanks for a fantastic post!

EcoBurban said...

Love this post! I also believe that when this is all over, we will be better off for going through it and most importantly our children will have learned from our mistakes.

I see the change in myself. We are short on funds these days and as we make the most of our zoo membership (who knew the zoo was so much fun in the winter!) and take our boys on more bike rides and more museum trips we find we are spending better quality time as a family. Yes, we have learned our lesson!!

Anna (Green Talk) said...

Green Bean, so beautifully written. What I hope is that we learn from our mistakes so histroy does not repeat itself like it has time and time again.

I also agree that there is a silver lining in this storm. Just like you said, a chance to reinvent ourselves and no longer be dependent on other nations to supply our oil or goods.

We have dug ourselves out before. We can do it again but stronger.

PS Love the gardening many days until spring?

Green Bean said...

Jenni: I've never seen that movie. I'd better go check my library website. Thank you!

EcoBurbs: We've done a lot of the same things. Appreciate what we have. Learn that we don't need so much. Taking lunch to work is no sacrifice. We save money and the environment. And so on.

Anna: I agree. I think we can do it. But I hope that we retain this lesson! And, as to spring, depends on where you live my dear. It's felt like spring here for over a month - which is not necessarily a good thing. Everything's blooming already but I'm hoping for a bit more rain.

GreenieJoy said...

loved this post!!! :)

Margaret's Ramblings said...

I love the optimism, keep it up. We can do nothing when we are sunk in despair, Margaret

Melinda said...

Amazing. I just wrote a post for tomorrow that is in many ways very similar to yours!

Beautiful words!

Green Bean said...

GreenieJoy: Love your handle!

Margaret: Thank you. Without hope, we cannot win.

Melinda: Same wavelength, babe! I've been feeling that for a number of your recent posts.

Jenni at My Web of Life said...

Green Bean-
'Lost Generation' is a quick, 1 minute clip that was a second place winner of a contest held by the AARP. Someone sent it to me and I found it so powerful I immediately posted it up on my blog. Click on my link to watch. It is worth it to see.

Thanks again for a great post. I'm going to try to get my act together to finally join the Carnival. I've been a fan on the sidelines for awhile now. :)

Mary said...

I wonder if we are the "meek" who are inheriting the earth, i.e. the ones who look to work with it instead of dominating it. I can live with that. Thank you for the reflective post.

CindyW said...

Thank you for the post. I have been not quite optimistic lately. There has not been any good news to spread around.

But you are right. Hard times force us to reflect, regroup and realign our course. I am hopeful that we will come out of the darkness stronger and much wiser.

Hey, at least this year, with the reduce energy consumption (petro and coal), the planet may well get a breather. Can't say that's not positive :)

Carmen said...

Thanks for some inspiration. I'm reminded of the movie Wall-E.

Aliyah said...

Wow, that was so eloquent! I could not agree more. People are the Power!

Jennifer Taggart, The Smart Mama said...

Thank you for the reminder. For the inspiration. For the words from the heart.

Let us all do better.

Fake Plastic Fish said...

Thank you for believing in all of us. And thanks for letting me know about Arduous. I was behind (once again) in blog reading. Isn't it great that we can support each other long distance?

Green Bean said...

Jenni: Amazing clip! Love it!

Mary: I like that. We are the "meek" - the ones who look to live in harmony.

CindyW: Nice to hear from you! How can we emerge as anything but more aware. And that is an improvement.

Carmen: Thank you! Funny, I've not seen Wall-E but I have heard that it is something about life on earth after our society has destroyed all the resources? Is that right?

Aliyah: Indeed we are.

Jennifer: Thank YOU for hosting a great carnival with an inspiring topic.

Beth: My pleasure.

mother earth aka karen hanrahan said...

You have created a hope here with what you believe and I too feel as if perhaps who we are becoming has more meaning than ever before ... love the phrase we will embrace volunteerism instead of shoe therapy - nicely stated!!

Diane MacEachern said...

I believe we are better, too - or can be, if we put our minds to it. Thanks for reminding us to do so.

Katy Farber said...

Love, love this post. It is truly up to us to make these choices that are better for our kids, our local economy, our environment. You've made me see a silver lining. And that I need to put my money where my values are as much as I can.

Willo said...

This brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for this!


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