Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Giveaway: No Impact Man

A book giveaway from The Conscious Shopper

I was the super happy winner of Fake Plastic Fish's No Impact Man giveaway a couple months ago. I've now finished the book (and loved it!) and am ready to pass it on to someone else! To be entered to win my gently used copy of this book, simply leave a comment on this post. I'll announce the randomly selected winner next Wednesday.

I think guest-Boother Karen has already done a fabulous job of reviewing the book here and here, so rather than rehash what you already know, I wanted to share one of my favorite passages from the book:
There is another story I love, about the Korean monk who founded the school of Zen where I meditate. Dae Soen Sa Nim decided that world peace would come if all the religious leaders of the world got together and had a good, human conversation. The way to do that, Dae Soen Sa Nim decided, was to have all the world's religious leaders get into a hot tub together.

In order to get all the religious leaders into the same hot tub, Dae Soen Sa Nim thought it was important that the invitation come from the Pope. He wanted the Pope to send out a letter that said, esentially, "Dear Religious Leader, How about we get into a hot tub and figure out how to attain world peace? Yours truly, the Pope."

So, without invitation, Dae Soen Sa Nim got on a plane, travled to Rome, marched up to the gates of the Vatican, and asked to see the Pope. No, he told the guard, he did not have an appointment. The guard sent Dae Soen Sa Nim to see one of the priests. A day or two later, the priest sent him to see a bishop. A couple of days after that, the bishop got him an appointment to see a cardinal.

As the story goes, the cardinal in question did not see the value in Dae Soen Sa Nim's hot-tub approach, and there the effort died.

But why this story gets told again and again in the Zen school is because of the sheer "just try" energy of Dae Soen Sa Nim's approach. It suggests that instead of trying to save the world by sitting around figuring out the best course of action, we should just start trying to save the world. If we all just start trying from where we are, even if some of us fail, one of us or a couple of thousand of us will cross the finish line and get the job done.

And if we don't, we will inspire other thousands to start from where they are, just as the story of Dae Soen Sa Nim and the Pope has inspired many hundreds of his students just to try. If one of these students succeed, then Dae Soen Sa Nim's stunt will have worked.

Okay, Dae Soen Sa Nim's attempt was a little crazy, and so is mine. I mean, the idea of turning off the electricity. But I'd rather be the kind of nut who tries something than the kind of nut who, knowing what could happen in the world, doesn't.


I love the spirit of this story. I'm constantly plagued with doubts about whether or not I'm doing the right thing, making the right choices...

Was I right to choose to cloth diaper my babies? Some people say disposables are better for the planet...Am I making the right decision by choosing to buy local milk in returnable glass bottles even though it's not organic?...Is this product good for my family's health?...Am I eventually going to find out that this supposedly eco-friendly company was lying to me?...Should I be sacrificing more? Am I doing enough? Am I doing enough?

But I know for sure that I'd rather be the kind of nut who tries something than the kind of nut who doesn't. Maybe I'm not perfect. But I'm trying.

The winner of the No Impact Man giveaway is: Oldnovice! Please email your address to consciousshopperblog [at] gmail [dot] com, and I'll ship that right out to you!

29 comments:

ramblings said...

This post truly helped keep me going. I'm doing all I can and trying to get others to help out too but sometimes they don't get it. Just today, someone left the classroom with the lights on, air-con running and door wide open.
I'm thinking of starting my own green blog, as how we approach environmental issues are a bit different over here in Malaysia. Access to green energy and products are limited. Awareness is not as high as we would like.
That aside, there are some who care and are trying to do whatever we can.

Bec said...

Thank you for sharing this. That is a great excerpt from the book. It is a great reminder that while others may not share our views, that we keep on and hold on to them. Every small step is a step forward. Even if it doesn't achieve what we wanted, it is something we can learn from.

Eco Yogini said...

perfect. I also am that "nut". :)

I would LOVE to read No Impact Man...:)

Anonymous said...

An encouraging post! I plagued myself with ethical questions today and decided to stop thinking so much and get on with it, one bit at a time.

Cath in Oz

Amberlyn said...

I think it's awesome that instead of buying a brand new book to giveaway, you are truly staying green.

Jessica said...

I would love to win this book!

Heather @ SGF said...

Ooh! I've been just dying to read this book having followed NIM since shortly after he began his 1 year journey... and it hasn't hit our library yet.

Please add my name to the entries. Thanks!

mother earth aka karen hanrahan said...

awesome sharing and lovely gesture to keep passing this book on, i am very interested in participating in your drawing

when i was in the throws of choice making, different than most everyone around me, I struggled deeply with the criticism and the lack of forward thinking of most of the people I knew. Including my very own husband. Yet, in my gut, it all felt right. The path I took felt important.

fast forward to kids in college and I look at who they are becoming and I am proud to say that i had influence. They are consciencious and compassionate. They too operate in the idea of choice versus what everyone else is doing.

How proud I am and how humbled ...they are our future, and I continue to be in awe

ruchi said...

I'd like to win the book too, and then pass it along to someone else!

Karen said...

I'd be thrilled to win the book, read it, and pass it along again. The wait list through the local library is REALLY long!

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

This sounds like such a great read! Thanks for thinking of us by passing it along!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the chance to win the book! I'm not a big fan of buying new books but I'm curious about how it'll hold up.

Plus, it'd be interesting to see if I am that type of econut... or if he can convince me to be.

Oldnovice said...

I'd like to read Colin's book and then pass it on, as well.

Kim said...

Great post! Sometimes it's hard to tackle all the questions and doubts that plague us when we're just trying to make as many best decisions possible...

I'd love a chance to win, also! I've been waiting for it to show up at my library, or one of the local used book stores. But since I haven't even seen it in Borders or Barnes and Noble yet, I'm not sure how long it will be before I see it at one of the use book stores!

Thanks for the review and the chance to win!

Chile said...

Since my library seems reticent to get any of the new green books in, I'd love to win this giveaway!

AP said...

I've been looking forward to reading this, but I haven't yet justified going out and buying the brand-new book. Cheers for running the giveaway to pass it along!

Daisy said...

Trying something: taking action. Absolutely. I'd love to read this book.

Melissa said...

I would love to read No Impact Man. :)

Laura said...

Great post! Like many here have said, I sometimes get discouraged feeling like so many people around me just don't get it.

I would love to read the book and then pass it on.

PureMothers said...

I love the excerpt and really want to read this book! I have been so out of the loop since moving from San Francisco to London a month ago. I have missed all the important documentaries and screenings about the environment- but I don't want to miss this book! If I win you can send it to my relatives in the US and I can get it at Christmas. That would be a great present.

Karen Moser-Booth said...

That is one of my favorite excerpts from the book, too! So glad you're doing a giveaway: the best way to part with a good book. :)

KLund said...

I'd love to read this book, my husband is also very interested, as well. Maybe it will also give me some more inspiration to improve upon my already green "hippee" ways. I have also been anticipating watching the movie if it ever comes to my town.

AnnMarie said...

I followed Colin thru his year and would love to read the book.

Rebecca said...

I would love to read this book. Pick me! :) I promise to pass it on when I'm done.

Rachael said...

Looks like a great book. Count me in!

Lisa Sharp said...

It's awesome of you to pass it on! I have really been wanting to read this.

Emily said...

Please count me in on the giveaway. Thanks!

tangledhair said...

I love this idea of "try"... to just go out and do one's best and see if it works. Because even if it comes to a dead end, the act of trying leads to greater self-efficacy, because you become One Who Tries.

I think a lot of people don't like it when others try, because it reminds us how much we do not try. And that alone is why trying is so important. Because then we're strong in ourselves, and because then we're cool with other people trying their own things as well.

Jackie said...

It's on my wishlist at Paperbackswap.com, but I'm getting antsy! I would love to win this book. "Am I doing enough?" is something I struggle with often.

jmarchand221 at gmail dot com

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