We are strongest when we see the most vulnerable in our society, bear witness to their struggles, and then work to create systems to make it better. ~Stacey Abrams
Here we go—we need to change! You've heard it before and the news from COP26 is filled with ideas that could conceivably stop Greta Thunberg from telling us "blah, blah, blah" about our non-action to resolutions, pronouncements, and declarations. It is time to break things down so we can understand them better. Thanks to the good work of our partners at YES! Magazine, here are some things to think about and DO!
Something as simple as reducing the use of energy: The UN recommends that we should work our way to using 1300 watts per capita. Many countries in the world already achieve this goal, some, like Mexico and Greece, need to lessen consumption only a little while others like Australia and most of Europe need to turn off the lights more often. The US and Canada come in at more than 9000 watts and need to turn off those office lights that decorate our urban areas at night.
Let's talk water. A fair share of water. The Institute of Applied Systems Analysis tells us we can do well with 13 gallons daily per capita. Daily US consumption is 82 gallons. Ouch! Shorter showers. Get wet. Close the tap. Soap up. Turn on the tap and rinse off. No need for sprawling lawns, coax roots to grow deeper.
Calorie count for optimal health is 2,353 per capita. A Big Mac, fries and shake, totaling 1310 calories cuts our necessary consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals in more than half for the remainder of the day. You don't have to give up meat altogether if you don't want to, just eat it less often. Think of adding more vegetables, the greener the better, eat seasonally and locally grown food. Start thinking differently about how we work. Work from home, if possible. Check if you and your organization can go to a 4-day work week. This is a great way to save our sanity as well as the planet.
Let's keep thinking outside the box. Challenge the ways in which we are accustomed to doing things. Re-think our knowledge and daily habits. We might find that we have a lot to learn, so be excited about the changes and the reality of actually doing something to reach our goals, and in the process we'll help not only ourselves but others as well. Think locally, help globally. We. are. all. in. this. together.
How can I help? I've heard those four magical words a number of times over the years. Without a need to explain explicitly why help was needed. The offer was made. Then, a number of years ago, I was part of an audience watching a screening of the documentary, "The Cats of Mirikitani". I heard the producer/director of the film, Linda Hattendorf, talk about this wonderful person who came up to her in a similar screening of the film and asked, "How can I help?" Helping meant getting the film networked and in film festivals around the world, it meant having it shown in small venues to help viewers remember the lingering wounds of war, September 11th, and the healing powers of friendship.
That extraordinary person who responds in ways that she can help a cause is one of the Humanitarian Awardees at our November 20th Global Gala. Until I listened to her acceptance speech, I never knew why our award recipient Cynthia Sears does what she does so graciously and wholeheartedly.
Visit our Gala pages on our website and purchase tickets. We don't want anyone to be excluded.
This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 11/14/2021 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu, in the newsletter section enter your email address and click on subscribe.