Its One Thing To Talk About The Things You Don’t Agree With, Its Another To Actually Do Something About Them
This is where I get a little preachy, so you may just want to skip this entirely, or not.
In high school during the 80’s it was fashionable to say things like “Be the change you want to see” and to some extent that had never gone out of fashion when speaking to the positive thinking crowd, but I always thought it was kinda cheesy. But times change and people change and I have in recent years become more keen on the idea and started being the change I wanted to see.
I’ve always been the type of person that lives by the mantra of putting ones money where their mouth is so the idea of being the change I wanted to see was a logical step even if I did cringe at the sappiness of the quote. So I decided in the early 2000’s that I would be that change on a more conscious level and really make an effort to not support things I saw as being morally or culturally incorrect or damaging to the world as a whole.
Now let me give a little backstory here to flesh things out a bit. I’ve been vegetarian since I was 11. I am strongly in favor of animal rights and stopping needless research on animals for our benefit. I have been an Atheist since I was 10 years old and speak out freely against religion. I have taken strong stands on issues from a very early age and stood by them so being that change wasn’t something new to me, I just never took the slogan to heart and supported it cause it seemed so contrived and sappy.
So what has this all lead up to in todays terms of who I am and why I’m talking about being the change I want to see? Well in the most simple terms its about consumerism and money and where I spend my money more than anything else. Sure I still have that idealist nature that volunteered at the AIDS quilt in DC and worked with FOOD NOT BOMBS to feed the needy, but now its a little more cerebral in a sense cause I try and make sure as not to support businesses that support behavior that is detrimental to our overall health as a nation and a world.
So what did I do? I stopped supporting things I saw problems with, be they companies, actors, retail stores or whatever. As one lone man I took a stand and said “you will never have my support again cause you are damaging the world and making it a worse place to live”.
One of the first things I did was sell all my Tom Cruise dvds. Yeah, I know this seems stupid but its a step. He spoke out against mental health issues on the TODAY SHOW and really showed his ass for being a complete idiot Scientologist and I stopped supporting his career. Sure my $15 dollar dvd purchase wont hurt him in the long run cause hes so vastly rich he could give a shit less about it, but I took a stand.
I sold my Iphone. Long before the suicides at the factory became the hot news story, I sold my Iphone. I saw other things about the company that I didn’t like and things about Steve Jobs and what he said about his company that pissed me off so I broke ties. Part of it was also AT&T and their support of political allies that I found deplorable that caused me to cut ties, but I took a stand and made a change.
I made a lot of other changes in my life. I stopped supporting things I saw as damaging and let some of that idealism that had faded over the years creep back into my soul and my heart and take back a place that was once very prominent in the way I saw the world. I began using less. I began buying less. I began to regain the idea of a spartan lifestyle where less is more and mobility is more valuable than things. I began cutting the chains of stuff and not letting objects hold me down. I began giving a shit again after many years of being apathetic to causes I once held so dear. I began to make and be change. I started a charity. I began doing charity work to help those in need. I began to change back to the idealistic teenager I once was and started doing things instead of just bitching about them on the internet.
I became the change I wanted to see.
It may never do anything in the long run. It may never actually cause any change that anyone will notice in the world at large, but I will have done what I thought was right and done something to make someone else life just a little bit better, even if for only a few moments.
I stopped being a product whore. I became more conscious of where my money was going and I tried to do things that would support good causes, if for nothing else than to know I did something.
I know I’m not the most compelling writer and this may not touch anyone, but that’s not the point, the point is I made a change and I did it for you and for me and everyone else in the world cause it mattered to me and I was no longer content with just letting the world happen to me.
I still have a long way to go in changing how I interact with the world but I’ve started my work and will continue to try and make positive change.