Over to you

I think its all too easy to be a little bit lazy… or possibly it’s just a symptom of being worn down:

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a completely non-cynical hat, but I do have a reusable coffee cup and a bear

We look at the world around us – the environment, health, politics, agriculture – and when something seems amiss, we say ‘someone should do something about that’. It would be lovely if corporations and governments had the motivation to solve all the world’s problems, but they don’t. With my cynical hat on, it seems to me that the majority of corporations are mainly interested in profit and the majority of governments are interested in power. I know that there are exceptions, but it does appear that when we place power in the hands of institutions, decisions tend to be made without humanity.

Individuals can have the same motivations, but often our choices are very personal and very complex. They certainly depend on a whole range of emotions and drivers… one of which is caring for the world and the people around us, so let’s try to focus on that one.

Once we accept that the ‘someone’ who can do something (even if only a little something) is ‘me’, it’s very easy to take the next step. And that next step need only be something tiny – smiling at someone on the bus, taking your own cup for take-away coffee, refusing a straw or a plastic bag. The next step might even be not doing something – not buying that pair of shoes that you don’t actually need, not upgrading to the latest piece of computer hardware, not lashing out when you see something on social media that annoys you.

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Let’s make rainbows!

And that way, one tiny step at a time, we change the world and make our lives happier. This week I ordered a book from the library rather than buying it. This week Mr Snail offered to try to mend a keyboard for a friend so she doesn’t need to buy a new one. This week we will be eating almost exclusively locally produced food. This week (hopefully) I will be finishing off my final blanket to go to Syrian refugees.

So, it turns out that we can all make the world a bit better place. Do you have plans to do something kind (for a person or the environment) this week?

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23 Comments

  1. Boy oh boy, what a brilliant post. The world is changing too fast and too much is going awry – so many people fall between the cracks. You are right that it often feels overwhelming. I won’t list the ways in which I am trying to make a difference in the lives of three less fortunate people right now, but I am also going to make more of an effort to repair rather than replace. Thank you, Mrs Snail.

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  2. Laurie Graves

     /  August 1, 2017

    Wonderful post! Use less, repair what you have, drive as little as possible. Support local farmers. Savor simple pleasures. We do all these things on a regular basis, as do many of our friends.

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  3. A very thoughtful post. It’s a very good idea to support local farmers around here otherwise they tend to take umbrage and go on strike or set fire to roundabouts. Seriously though, it is the often small things people do to help others or to try to make a difference in their communities that remind us not everything has to be for gain, power or fame. As for the new shoes though – I couldn’t possibly comment :/

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  4. Murtagh's Meadow

     /  August 1, 2017

    A very important message. I agree with everything you say. We each have to do our bit because we certainly can’t rely on our politicians! Yesterday I made some jam with blackberries from the freezer collected last year and I hope to give most of this away. And on Thursday we will have relatives coming and I hope to feed them lamb from.our neighbour and potatoes, beans and cabbage from the garden:-)

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  5. Suzi Atkinson

     /  August 1, 2017

    I’m finishing several blankets for Project Linus.

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    • Project Linus is another fantastic cause – I’ve never made a blanket for them, but they are on my radar.

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      • I did ask if Project Linus would like crochet baby blankets and was told that crochet is too holey! It seems a shame as some crochet is not holey at all. Are your blankets crochet Suzi? And if so where do you send them?

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  6. Reading your lovely post and the comments, it seems you are speaking to the converted Jan 🙂 The key point for me these days is responsibility, those who are still looking for ‘them’ to ‘fix things’ are looking in the wrong place. As you say, it’s up to us, one step, one smile, one choice at a time. Brilliant post and I hope it goes viral!!

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  7. You’ve helpfully reminded me that there’s a pile of mending waiting… and soup to be made from leftovers… and library books to be picked up… and another bag of stuff to go off to the charity shop. Oh, and one of the members has just emailed me to say she’s finished the first blocks for my next Ovarian Cancer project, so that’ll be my next ‘make a difference to someone’ project. I’m sure I can do more, but let me get these jobs done first 🙂
    Let there be change, and let it begin with me.

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  8. Good points! And yes me and the Mr have come across something big to try , more to follow when we have begun.

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  9. I agree! I’ve been trying to make a few extra changes this year, and the one I’m happiest with is my take away coffee cup. So far, I’ve worked out that it’s kept just shy of 100 disposable cups out of landfill… Plus now the staff in my local tea shop know what I’ll order before I’ve even opened my mouth. These little things really do add up! Thanks for keeping us all moving in the right direction, Jan!

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  10. I’ve been recycling (upcycling?) old towels and sweaters into small beds for the animal shelter. It’s ongoing as I have time to sit at my machine. I’ve also started a very small crochet blanket that I also hope to donate to a shelter this winter. I chose thick, soft yarn so given my inexperience it goes faster. Thanks for continuing to inspire us.

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