a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Assume, Resume – better late than never

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

It’s been pointed out that I’ve been focusing mostly on the little things involved in moving towards a sustainable and more just life for ourselves. It’s true, the first bumper sticker I put on my car 18 years ago was, “Think Globally, Act Locally” and later, the motto for my yoga studio in Raleigh was, “Think Globally, Stretch Locally”. I still believe that we have to “stretch” our ability to change ourselves inside and out in our own “small” lives in our own “small” communities before we can change the world.

So, I’m guilty as charged. I write and think a lot about alternatives to consumptive lifestyles and buying habits. I talk about not using napkins, straws, paper or plastic. I like to think we can buy local food, products and services, drive less, spend time in nature, have less children, live in smaller houses and that it will make us more aware, more healthy and more capable of changing the big things.

The problem is, I didn’t think that part would take this long. I assumed that once we realized what we were doing and where it was leading (overpopulation, pollution, resource depletion, dis-ease, etc.), that most of us – at least those of us with means – would take a stand over our own lives and then the trickle down would guide leaders of the political and the economic worlds to step up to the challenges of change and then we could make things better for all of us. I really thought that was just around the corner…

So, I realize there are next steps and that they are bigger, more difficult and much more important. But I also believe that we have the tools, the technology and the spirit to pull it off. The question will be whether we waiting too long, not whether we can do it.

Work inside and outside yourself. Talk to others. Talk to local and national government. Join networks where you can “push the iceberg” towards the change we need, both small and large.

Look, Listen, Love and Live your potential.


2 Responses to “Assume, Resume – better late than never”

  1. Jolly ROger Says:

    Thanks Tracey.
    My mantra these days is, “Life goes on within you and without you.” Humanity doesn’t mean sh*t to a tree. Earth is a stage where people can act out their cruelty and compassion; humility and ego. Saving the
    Earth is crazy!!! The earth doesn’t need saving, it can take care of itself. It is us that need saving.

    My first significant bumper sticker was, “Subvert the Dominant Paradigm.” Unfortunately, most people had no idea what it meant. Also, America is still a pick-up truck, and fast-food nation, and the “third world,” is immulating us.

    I think tools and technology are what helped get us to this sad state. From the stone ax, to the atom bomb, and everywhere in between, but the deadliest tool of all, is religion. Not only did it give us permission to kill everything in nature, but also to to kill any group of humans that had a different diety(ies). Spirituality is the only hope. Christians martyred for their beliefs, As we that strong? Would you be a martyr for the wolves?

    So, you could call me a misanthropic anthropologist.

    Tracey is wise and committed. But, “You are the guru, don’t follow the guru.”
    Don’t push the iceberg, Melt it.

    Join an action group. Donate to one. Write nasty letters to politicians. You might get on the FBI list! What an honor.

    Roger Hartsell

  2. Alison Wiley, Portland Oregon Says:

    Good post, Tao. I am pushing, or melting, the iceberg here on the other side of the country too, and so are a lot of others. I agree with Roger that humanity’s issue here is a spiritual one, and that in spirituality lies hope and a shot at transformation

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