The courage to change

I was thrilled last week to receive notice that I’d actually won a contest (maybe the first time in my life)!  Tanner Christensen, with the Creative Something blog offered a random prize drawing, and lo and behold, he drew my name.  So now I am the proud owner of Thomas Friedman’s new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded.  If it’s anything like The World is Flat, I’m assured of an inspiring read.

We have a new mandate: we must learn to live together in health and peace on a planet with limited resources.  We must lose our perception of ‘us and them’ and assume a new outlook of ‘us and eternity.’  The enemy is not the other guy; the enemy is our own ignorance and lack of imagination.

A few things perceived over the weekend may help to illustrate.  We prepped the herb garden by spreading the soil with newsprint.  This involved going to the recycling center and scoring huge piles of the stuff.  Most of what I scarfed was that very day’s edition, and most of it was glossy ad inserts.  Within the past 24 hours, news happened, reporters wrote it up, designers created splashy ads, editors revised, printers sweated out the production, distributors scurried all over plastering the environs, and then vast amounts of the product were summarily dumped. 

This syndrome occurs daily all over the world.  We can’t seem to reduce the waste, simply because the newspaper industry machine is so huge, we’re afraid of stopping it.  Change is all very well as long as we have decades to accomplish it.  Don’t ask us to take our knowledge and actually apply it right away; we’re too lazy, or scared, or dependent on our habits.  We think ‘we need the eggs,’ as Woody Allen so marvelously put it.

But I also read in the past couple days about two individuals whose change is brave and phenomenal.  Anne Rice has found Jesus, and Joaquin Phoenix is quitting the movies.  The queen of the vampires and the king of Hollywood lovers do about faces.  Their courage in aligning with the urges of their hearts, even though it may work against all the world’s demands, is exemplary and a positive lesson for us all.  Anything is possible, and to perpetuate waste and destruction because we fear change is unworthy of our gifts as sentient beings.

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3 comments so far

  1. Tanner Christensen on

    What an inspiring post, Mary. Stating that “our enemy” is our own ignorance is such a simple, but beautiful, statement; if only everyone could realize it.

    And I really hope you enjoy your book, congratulations on winning!

  2. Herb on

    Congrats on your win and your attitude!

  3. Paul Vance on

    I devoured Hot, Flat and Crowded. What an eye-opener! I’ll be interested to hear what you think!


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