Sunday, December 09, 2007

SS - Ripples of Hope

Before I give you something concrete to do, I want to talk about the Hope I have been mentioning.

My SIL sent me this quote last year and I think it perfectly sums up what I mean by hope:

Either we have hope within us or we don't, it is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense no matter how it turns out. - Václav Havel

I think it is very important that we talk about making changes in our lives and that we give each other and ourselves reasons for making these changes. The more people we can convince to do something, the better our chances to make a difference. The more we can motivate people, the more good we can do.

However, I need to state that none of us can really know if what we do will help. We might just be too far down the rabbit hole to stop anything, or make it better, even. This is where the hope comes in. Like in the quote above, hope is not dependent on the chances of it turning out OK. Hope is something we can have, no matter what is going on in our lives. In fact, the worse things are around us, the more important it is to have hope. Otherwise you have nothing. No hope is the worst place you can find yourself.

My friend Flo had this on her blog recently:

"Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything."

So, you see, if we at least feel that all the small changes (and big ones, too) we are making are the right and good thing to do, then we actually have everything we need. And the really cool thing about doing what feels right is that you tend to influence those around you, for the better. Here is a post from No Impact Man about the effect one person doing the right thing has on those around them:

OK, now that we have Hope, what else can we add to our list of changes? Once again I am directing you to another one of Sharon's posts. Did I mention how much I have gotten out of her blog? I did? Oh, OK, good. Here it is:

This one has to do with getting off the consumer treadmill and using what you already have to meet your needs to the fullest capacity you can manage, instead of buying new. I know I drive my husband crazy with how I never want to throw anything out. But it is not because of a sentimental attachment to "stuff." It is all about future resources. I can pretty much make something out of nothing, if I have enough "worthless stuff" to cobble together. I hate feeling like I have to throw something away just because it is cosmetically damaged. If it works or can be repaired, you should keep it. Getting something new just because your present one is outdated/out of style/last year's model is crazy! What a waste of money, energy, and precious resources! I consider it a fun challenge to see how long I can get use out of something. And it feels much better than buying that shiny new item when I have a perfectly good one already.

Go and see what you can use up, wear out, and make do!

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