If you’d prefer to listen to this article rather than read, you may do so in the player below:
Find someone passionate about a recent conscious change they’ve made in their life, and I guarantee you they feel great about creating massive change in the world. They also might want to tell you all about it.
Granted, you may not be interested and your first instinct might be to fake an important appointment you must attend immediately, but this is likely because they’ll also swear that the change they’ve made is the most important thing YOU can do to make everything better in your life too.
I’m sure you’ve come across this situation more than once.
Whether it’s the newly-turned vegan, the plastic-slaying environmentalist, or the Ayahuasca-drinking shamanesse – they have one thing in common. They’re right.
Making a change in our own life is the only way we can change the world. Lead by example. The ripple effect. The butterfly effect. It’s been said so many times in so many ways it’s now a vomit-worthy cliché, but it’s true. No matter how defiantly you ignore that fact, it remains there to haunt you. Worse still, you ignore it, and you commit the sin of wilful ignorance. Which is certainly a behaviour the world does not need more of.
What’s right about these above examples is not that you need become a plastic-slaying, Ayahuasca-drinking vegan; but that you (and the world) will benefit greatly from you making conscious decisions daily. That is, if you start thinking about and feeling into what you do every day, so will those around you, and consequently the world will change.
Case in point: Growing your own
A decision as simple as flicking some tomato seeds into the compost (instead of sending them to the dump to fester in plastic in the sweltering heat for thousands of years) has a series of incredible knock on effects.
- Your child sees the seeds growing in the compost and asks you about them.
- You tell your child about how seeds grow, and you replant the little seedlings in a place so they can watch their evolution in real time.
- Your child is given the responsibility of watering and watching them each day instead of the monotonous drone of the television.
- Your child touches and loves the plants, giving them the warm and fuzzies (and you a break!).
- The plants begin to grow and you enjoy sharing this extra time nourishing these plants with your little one.
- The plants, the favourite of which is now named Johnny, begin to flower.
- The local bees begin to visit and cross-pollinate the other plants in your yard.
- A few houses down, hobby apiarist Ben’s honey stocks begin to increase – his bees are loving life!
- Johnny and friends begin to fruit, producing enough juicy red goodies that you’ve no ongoing need to purchase tomatoes.
- As a side note, they actually taste like tomato!
- As you didn’t purchase the normal chemically-laden tomatoes from the local big chain supermarket, the demand for them decreases and farmer Darryl loses his contract.
- Don’t despair – this was the catalyst Darryl had been waiting for. He was being paid a pittance because the supermarket is run purely for profit at any cost to the farmer, and his soul was shrivelled.)
- As luck had it, Darryl’s brother recently piqued his interest by mentioning permaculture, and the loss of his contract kickstarts an incredible journey of transitioning his farm to a permaculture farm.
- He, his family, his customers, his neighbours, and the world benefit greatly because he’s no longer purchasing agrochemicals and phosphate fertilisers; his soil begins to recover from the years of abuse, with microorganisms and worms deciding to make it their home; and he’s able to grow other fruit, flowers, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses, grains to supplement his income when others are out of season.
- The profits of the agrochemical and fertiliser companies he was once supporting begin to decline, as his farmer friends begin to see how powerful permaculture is, and make the switch.
- Three of farmer Darryl’s friends decide to transition to permaculture principles on their farm, whilst another begins to research Rudolf Steiner and implements a 1 acre trial on his farm using biodynamics.
- These farmers start selling their produce from the farm gate direct to the public. The locals enjoy speaking with their farmer direct, knowing their food is safe and healthy, and the safe future of their local environment is secured.
- Nobody wants to shop at the big chain supermarket any more; the big boss is forced to make drastic cuts and lay off some employees.
- The farm gate is happy because they’ve been run off their feet and need some new staff to assist with the increasing demand.
- Meanwhile, you’re home planting fruit trees and a vegetable garden at your child’s request to grow (and eat!) every vegetable they can.
That’s exactly how to change the world
Sound a little far fetched? Yes, that chain of events is perhaps a little romanticised. But I have a great imagination and it’s a hypothetical.
Why not change the hypothetical into reality by committing to one simple change in your life immediately and tracking the changes you see as a direct result? Sure, there’ll be changes you won’t see – you can imagine those, like I have – but quit the procrastination and the “I can’t make a difference” self-talk.
Just do it.