When I was younger you could see me with a group of folks, sign in hand, marching through McDonald's telling the patrons how they should be ashamed of themselves. My activism has changed drastically since then. I no longer believe in the activism that is used in an attempt to shame others. I believe in the small acts that one does to truly make a difference, as small as that difference might be. Everyone can do something little, every day, to make this world a better place.
I am lucky in that the organization I work with offers a pre-tax donation every month to the organization of my choice. I don't even notice the money I give to a local animal shelter. It's nice that I can do something and not feel like my pocket book is being emptied. If you can give a little, or drop off some food, or foster an animal, you are making a world of difference. If giving money is all you can do I encourage you to. For me, it's not enough.
I don't use plastic bags when grocery shopping and think that stores should stop carrying them. I got this idea when I went to Germany years back and noticed that people were carrying in baskets, and cloth bags. I learned that Germany does not supply disposable bags to customers. I think we would be well served to do the same. I also have cloth napkins in my home. I am not going to say I never use napkins or paper towels, 'cause I do. But I think even cutting back a little, is something.
I told my realtor when I was looking for a home that I needed to be within 5 miles of midtown Sacramento. This has helped because I can ride my bike to work if I choose (which I've only done twice. I'm lame) and my monthly gas use is decreased dramatically as my commute is very short.
When I see things happening around my neighborhood that I am concerned with, I contact my city representative or I take matters in to my own hands by going and talking to folks who I think might be doing something that is not positive for where I live. A while back I did this: Keep Midtown Janky.
I completely and totally believe in grass roots activism. I believe that anyone can do something small that they believe in and make a difference. Just cutting down your red meat consumption, and knowing where your food comes from, can make a huge impact on the world. You don't need to be a millionaire, or make a grand gesture, to make a difference. Activism can be, "Today, I will try and brighten the mood of everyone I come in to contact with." Starting a ripple effect can make a difference.
I just wrote this because I know that sometimes we look around and this world seems hopeless. The way that things are might get depressing and hard to digest. But if you as a person just keep your chin up, and do what you can in your immediate world to make a difference, I really believe that difference will be felt by those around you to such a degree, that you truly do make a difference in the bigger picture.
Now, I will be the first to admit my obsessive behaviors totally negate some of my hippy habits. I use Clorox wipes once a week on every surface in my house. Wasteful and unnecessary if you think about it logically. Completely necessary so that I feel comfortable in my own home. Every day my cat box gets cleaned and the litter goes in to a disposable grocery bag that I get people at work to bring to me. So although I'm not using my own bags, I'm still using a plastic bag, every day, for litter. I tried just throwing the litter in the kitchen garbage without its own plastic bag. I couldn't do it. It caused me so much anxiety I cried for days and came to the conclusion that I can only do what I can do. No one is perfect. Just do what you can, every day, so that your world is a place you are proud of.
Today's happy picture is me dressed up ridiculously, with crazy make up on, to go see Xanadu, The Musical. We had so much fun that night being stared at at dinner. Also, one of the cast members was so excited we dressed up he took our picture and sent it backstage to one of the other folks in the chorus. There were very few of us dressed up, but the folks that were made the cast very happy.