Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Uncharted Waters


I've been looking at more blogs regarding sustainablility the past few days. I am encouraged to find them cropping up more and more. Little Blog in the Big Woods is one I visited today for the first time and I was impressed! I have been simplifying my life voluntarily for the past 20 years. It is an extremely fulfilling way for me to live, and while there are times that I do better than other times, I find that the more I integrate into my life, the more fulfilled my life becomes. Well, this guy, who calls himself "Greenpa" has not had a refrigerator for 30 years!! This idea is incredible to me! Now, in the 20 years that I have been paying attention to my own impact upon our home, I had never even thought to not have a refrigerator. I don't know if it's something I will do or not, but it gives me some real food for thought and I love it when that happens; when my ideas of what "is" are turned on their ear and I can begin to think about something in a whole, new way.

One thing that surprises me are the number of people who are ready to attack these folks for trying to do things differently. No Impact Man deals with this quite a bit on his blog, it seems, and he handles the snide remarks with real grace. I understand being the target of these kind of reactions, though I must say, no one has been flat-out rude to my face regarding my own choices (though one person has used a round-about way to do that through one of my children!). The choices I have made that seem to push people's buttons the most are my vegetarianism and homeschooling. The only thing I can manage to guess at their reactions is that they are threatened or are fearing being judged; assuming that I feel like I'm on a "high horse" looking down upon them for their choices.

Many of these people (like the ones who seem to criticize the aforementioned blogs) seem to seek out any inconsistencies in your lifestyle choices and are waiting to pounce and slap on the label of "hypocrite." But why, really... why do we do this? Why look to attack someone who is trying to live according to his/her values? You know, we Christians try to live according to our values too and guess what? We fail. And we will continue to fail, because we are simply human. But why berate and attack when someone is trying to do better or live authentically... especially when what one is trying to do is to do something better for themselves, the planet, and/or others?

What these folks are doing, to me, is admirable and inspirational and even if they find that they fail in some of their attempts, they are living with intention, which is what I have always strived to do. Rather than have life "happen" to me, I relish the opportunity to choose - even if that means heading out into uncharted waters.

*top photo is of my girls at Siesta Key Beach, sharing the waves with a dolphin
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