Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Uncharted Waters

I've been looking at more blogs regarding sustainablility the past few days. I am encouraged to find them cropping up more and more. Little Blog in the Big Woods is one I visited today for the first time and I was impressed! I have been simplifying my life voluntarily for the past 20 years. It is an extremely fulfilling way for me to live, and while there are times that I do better than other times, I find that the more I integrate into my life, the more fulfilled my life becomes. Well, this guy, who calls himself "Greenpa" has not had a refrigerator for 30 years!! This idea is incredible to me! Now, in the 20 years that I have been paying attention to my own impact upon our home, I had never even thought to not have a refrigerator. I don't know if it's something I will do or not, but it gives me some real food for thought and I love it when that happens; when my ideas of what "is" are turned on their ear and I can begin to think about something in a whole, new way.

One thing that surprises me are the number of people who are ready to attack these folks for trying to do things differently. No Impact Man deals with this quite a bit on his blog, it seems, and he handles the snide remarks with real grace. I understand being the target of these kind of reactions, though I must say, no one has been flat-out rude to my face regarding my own choices (though one person has used a round-about way to do that through one of my children!). The choices I have made that seem to push people's buttons the most are my vegetarianism and homeschooling. The only thing I can manage to guess at their reactions is that they are threatened or are fearing being judged; assuming that I feel like I'm on a "high horse" looking down upon them for their choices.

Many of these people (like the ones who seem to criticize the aforementioned blogs) seem to seek out any inconsistencies in your lifestyle choices and are waiting to pounce and slap on the label of "hypocrite." But why, really... why do we do this? Why look to attack someone who is trying to live according to his/her values? You know, we Christians try to live according to our values too and guess what? We fail. And we will continue to fail, because we are simply human. But why berate and attack when someone is trying to do better or live authentically... especially when what one is trying to do is to do something better for themselves, the planet, and/or others?

What these folks are doing, to me, is admirable and inspirational and even if they find that they fail in some of their attempts, they are living with intention, which is what I have always strived to do. Rather than have life "happen" to me, I relish the opportunity to choose - even if that means heading out into uncharted waters.

*top photo is of my girls at Siesta Key Beach, sharing the waves with a dolphin


Alina said...

Hi Mrs Pivec,

I think you have a point here, and I have actually thought about this before.

I think people in general believe that their individual actions don't make a difference unless everyone else does it too. And they use that as an excuse not to do anything either, like "If no one else does it, why should I?".

But then when someone actually tries something, they take it as passing judgment on their actions and their life. Like if you are saying they are "bad" people.

Mostly, I think people feel better about themselves if they find something to criticize you about.

My blog hasnt been popular enough for me to get hate mail... Maybe when I do its a good sign ;)

Just one practical suggestion, maybe you can consider changing your comment options so that people dont need to have a google account? That might discourage commenters... I moved my blog from blogger to wordpress and I can't leave my url with the settings you have now. So I'll just leave it here, if you don't mind: http://closetenvironmentalist.wordpress.com/

See you around the blogsphere ;)

Aisling said...

I read that blog, Little Blog in the Big Woods, for the first time earlier this week. We must have been doing the same thing, hopping around on links reading about folks who are dedicating themselves to lowering their impact on the planet. I don't think my family would even consider unplugging the refrigerator, but reading about "Greenpa" does encourage me not to plug in the extra fridge in the basement family room. We were given a free one, and put it there for "someday." Like you, it isn't something I thought about before.

PS. I love the caption for your photo, and love that your daughters are sharing the waves with dolphins.

Alina said...

Nice ;)

Randi said...

Thanks for the links!

Sara said...

Hello sweet mama. Here is your comment, as requested. hee hee! I'm glad you invited me to c'mon over. I'm enjoying your posts and the links within them. I'm excited to read more on the guy in the woods :) Matt and I have often contemplated putting a yurt up in the mountains...which would likely start out without many modern conveniences.

I completely agree with Alina about why people attack other's choices. When you do something RADICALLY different than other people and they find out about it, read about it, etc...they most likely feel some sort of conviction even if they profess "not to care".

I am of the thought that ANYTHING you can do to improve your lifestyle, lower your impact, etc. is good. Even if it's just one little thing. I just try to encourage people to keep pressing on...keep trying...and not to give up, even though it's tiring. As long as they are not just getting stagnant...and they are progressing and learning, that's all you can ask. It makes me sad when people attack others for their good choices.

Blessings to you...see you around!

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