What do I do to fight to improve our lives, our communities our city and our society? That was the question, paraphrased. My response,
“I don’t drive, don’t consume any oil products directly and try to minimize air travel and use rail or other means for longer distance trips when possible. Minimizing oil usage is difficult in these times since it has been pushed into the cornerstone of so many daily products: from diapers to the automobile.
I also make a point to support local co-ops that provide freshly grown food within 50-100 miles of where I live. I cook, sometimes eat out and eat foods that aren’t genetically modified. I’m actively involved in groups working to stop lawsuits to eliminate organic foods (Monsanto has tried in numerous states to sue any farmers that don’t use Monsanto’s genetically modified seed). I will work with and help anybody else as I can to stop these types of lawsuits, these absurd notions of “patenting life“, etc.
I stay in reasonable physical condition merely by living healthy, eating well and staying active. I cycle, I walk and generally I live actively. It goes a long way in making a happy life.
I work diligently to promote better lifestyles than the consumption based, debt oriented, auto dependent fiat currency based modes that are currently – for now – prominent in the United States.
I work in community groups to support children being able to ride their bikes to school, to ensure that neighborhoods are built reasonable with walkability – i.e. human beings in mind – so that no matter the limitations at least 99% of the populace can get to a grocery store, to a school, to a nearby park safely without the necessity of a car or other transportation requirement.
I work with economic development groups to align job location (albeit sometimes companies just don’t give a flying hoot) a reasonable distance from where the workforce is. It’s insane to think anybody travels more than 5-10 miles to work. Nobody should have to travel more than 1-3 miles to work. In the coming years, it will become economically, environmentally and emotionally unreasonable to do such things. In addition, if we keep transforming the way we live utilizing what we’ve learned from history – and trying new techniques to live, locate, get to work and other such ideas people in general won’t find it acceptable to travel such egregious distances to work anyway. (Imagine gas at $15 bucks a gallon, reflecting a more realistic unsubsidized cost of exploration, losses, costs, etc, then tack onto that the cost of roadways actually being reflected in tolls and other taxes to maintain them, we leap from a few pennies a mile of direct taxation to about a buck a mile of costs/taxation, etc). Meanwhile transit, biking and walking are all exponentially cheaper, easier to manage and more resilient to these high costs – especially for the general population.
I also produce and attempt to write on a regular basis an effective way to live without all the incredulous waste and servitude of a debt based, auto dependent lifestyle (sometimes here, sometimes elsewhere). In addition to writing I also work with videographers to put together other material that shows how easy it is to live well, without making huge changes. Just by merely thinking through the day better and stepping away from the “regular” lifestyle.
I petition and advocate at Government (because I won’t work for them), I work with companies, especially companies that give a hoot (and there ARE a LOT of them), I work with individuals and I work with my local community neighborhood groups & others to do the above things.
Simply, I try to right the wrongs, educate and improve what we as a society are doing today. All while trying to repair the damage that is already done. I do so through no use of force, only through passion and education. So maybe, if it isn’t my children, somebody’s children can have a better life. Because the immediate next generation (and the millennials) have been handed a lump of coal.
…so that’s what I mean by fighting.”
This all got me thinking. Maybe I should update my manifesto a bit. Thus, an updated Manifesto.
This thinking also got me wondering, what other things could I do? What do you do? How do you squelch the apathy and improve things in your community?
Cheers, Transit Sleuth.
I can answer that quite simply actually, I try to do the ‘right thing’ each and every day, that’s all.
Oh jeez Al, you can come up with more than that! 😛
“To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage
I do a few things in my personal life with an ethical valence – don’t own a car, don’t eat beef, do give myself an annual charity allowance. But the most important focus of my ethical life has been to put together a career that I think lets me advance my top social priority (making it easier for poor people to avoid being poor if they want to). Maybe it’s the result of my personal characteristics (easily interested and easily bored) or the things I enjoy making (artfulness more than functionality) but I’ve always resisted the idea of having my career be a walled-off part of my life that enables me to devote free time to the things I’m actually passionate about. I’m afraid that if I ever had a job like that, I’d be crappy at it. I’d rather have my career be my passion and accept the other limitations that come with that priority.
It seems as if you’re a bit on the other side of this spectrum, though not a long way over. That’s cool too.