Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Being Different

written by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin

I am different.  Yes, really different, but I hope it doesn't stay that way for long.

However, I know that I am not alone.  Slowly growing within the consumeristic heart of western culture and society, there is a special kind of person that is different from the mainstream.  Sometimes they are hard to spot, but with a bit of careful observation you can pick them out from the crowd.

You will see them shopping in op shops buying clothes and other essentials.  You will catch them on weekends in their gardens growing their own food.  You will find them in their kitchens cooking meals for their family.  You will see them mending and repairing, reducing, reusing, and recycling items around the home.  You will find them talking about the antics of their chickens instead of talking about weekend football or some other trivial pursuit.  You will notice their friendly demeanour, and note that they give endlessly of their skills and knowledge.  You will finding them buying local produce and goods.  You will find them using less resources in their lifestyle.  You will hear them enjoying life and not have a nagging feeling in their gut that something is missing in their life.

In fact, these people are you.  I can see you out there as our audience, changing your lives, being different from the rest of society, every single day of the year and living life to the full.  Having fun and finding the courage to be someone different who stands up for the future of humanity and all creatures on the Earth in each and every action you take towards your simple, green, and frugal lifestyle.

It feels good to be different is a small way, however what would please me much, much more was if everyone lived as if the welfare of Mother Earth, Gaia, Mother Nature, or whatever label you put on this big blue-green marble we live on and call home.  I yearn to see the day when we are all the same.

Being different is maybe good in the short term, but a big green groundswell that reaches a tipping point is far superior.  Change at the community level is the only thing that will make a difference in the long run to our environment which without we do not stand much of a chance.  It makes me laugh when I hear the term "Save the Environment".  As I know full well that the environment is not something separate from humans, what that term really means, and has a bigger punch in the process is "Save Humanity and all other Species on the planet".  It has a better ring to it, and a worthy goal.

So lets take the "different" and make it "the norm".  Reach out to your local community and share all the different things you do in your sustainable lifestyle, and I bet you my best laying chicken, that you will make a difference to someone's life!

Who is up for the challenge?


Ilene said...

Great post!

I'm the only one in my little country neighborhood who hangs laundry on the line. Only one other neighbor has a clothesline and she uses it to "air out" things only about twice a year.

One of our neighbors on the county road just off our road has an apple tree and a pear tree on which they just leave the fruit. It weighs down the trees and the wind breaks the limbs, and the deer finally come and eat what fruit they can reach. Only one of my other neighbors knows how to use a canner and has a garden. Another neighbor has decided to have a garden but she has started small and I think she has doomed herself for failure but it's a start anyway. It's hard to know how to give advice without seeming "too pushy", so I stand by and wait for questions. I gave her some walking onions, which she still hasn't planted, and some starts for sweet potatoes, which she said she loves. Since her husband is building little raised beds and she's having soil trucked in that won't grow anything well without being amended, which she will not do, she's already starting to complain that growing a garden is "too expensive".

Most of my neighbors hop in their cars and drive into town several times a day. Some of them have teenagers who do the same thing, but at night.

So it's really refreshing for me to find kinship online. And I thank you for this well-written post.

Mrs. J @ Road Less Traveled said...

It's hard to be different (sometimes). I'm a 23 year old college student, and my husband is also a college student. We hang our clothes on the line, have a productive garden, cook everything from scratch, plan errand outings so to minimize fuel use, and we just got our first chickens. We always look for something used before we buy new. And we even blog about our crazy way of life!

Sometimes it's hard--I frequently miss out on social activities because I think they are wasteful or too expensive (drinking, clubs, restaurants, overpriced movies, etc). But other times I realize that the only reason that I'm getting by on my small stipend is the way I live, and then it's easy.

We love simplicity, we love building skills and doing things ourselves. It gives us a happiness and confidence that a stereotypical western life could never bring.

Thank you for your post!

Kerry D. said...

Thank you for your post and encouragement. In our family, we make our small steps toward a smaller impact.

I've had a challenge in relating to people in our community who outwardly seem to be very like minded. But, on two occasions when I've given (beautiful) sewn gifts from "recycled" fabric, I've had negative reactions. One from the recipient, who was grossed out that the denim from her tote had once brushed against my husband's thighs! And at the other event, a fellow guest offered to give me "new" fabric for my projects. (The gift was a lovely toiletry travel bag from a georgeous upholstery sample, lined with soft plain cotton.) This is getting a little frustrating...

queen of string said...

We are different! I try to embrace the difference and wait for the world to catch up. This year we are growing veg in the front garden, no one has commented yet, but I am expecting it. I noticed one of our near neighbours just put in a small plot, I hope we inspired them. In vancouver they have just agreed to let people grow food in the green strips between their property and the road, I hope that works its way out into the valley where we are.
We blog about our lives so that no one who feels different needs to feel alone, and so that anyone new who comes looking for how to start finds lots and lots of us already doing the things they are thinking of. Changing your own behaviour is one of the big changes an individual can make in the world, living what you belive is very powerful.

sl.tudor said...

I love being different..i live my life enjoy it..grow my own,make my own,i love baking and cooking..doing jam and preserving my own ..i love CS they rock..i live in a nicer area and have had some comments..but i am doing a good thing..i'm teaching my son and daughters the essentials of life.I just wish i had someone closer who does what i do..thankfully this place and others are my lifesavers...

keep going,dare to be different..

Willo said...

Your words perfectly describe my feelings (and those of my family). It is nice to know we aren't different alone.

Myrnie said...

Thank you for a great post! It can be tiring or exciting, depending on the day!

Gavin said...

Thanks everyone. The post was written using a burst of inspiration that I received during a meditation session.

I was trying to figure out the 'why' of my difference. Very deep.

Gav x

Frugal Down Under said...

Wonderful post. I too am different.

I am the only one at the office that takes my recycling and compost home.
I am the only that buys second hand.
I am the only one that has a garden plot.
I am the only one that does not buy lunch most days.

I care about my earth and at first I was shy about it. But my voice is getting louder and it due to the sharing and support of the blogging community.