I never got the idealism beaten out of me by life. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in school so much. Maybe it’s because I got a degree in political science and that meant studying Marx, and the Federalist Papers, and lots more political theory. Who knows. But I’m still one of those people who want to change the world. One of my problems has always been the abundance of good causes though. There are so many, how do you choose into which you should pour your energy? With each new cause that I learn about, the choice gets harder and harder.
As I get older and more settled, I’ve found that I also have time to ruminate on ethics and justice more. The age old philosophical questions – what is good? What is right? In my case, I tend more toward asking those questions about specific topics rather than the more nebulous task of trying to define the words themselves. Like the Supreme Court and pornography, I know it when I see it. 😉
I, of course, married a “realist” (cynic). I am realistic enough to realize that, while one person can change the world, that peron is rare indeed. The most I can hope for is to change a little corner of it. For many years I was most concerned about looking after babies. Now that they’re school age, they don’t need quite as much looking after as they did. I’ve emerged from Baby World back into the real world. I told my husband last night that I wanted to change the world. His response, “You can’t. No matter how many lotteries you win, you’ll never have enough money to go up against big corporations. That’s who runs things now.” See? Cynic.
My cause for a while now has been green living. As you know, it started out as a quest to save money. It still is. But I’m realizing that it’s more important to me than just that. Sustainability is right. If developing nations developed along sustainable lines, they would be more independent, better able to handle upheavals and weather crises, and they’d be able to sustain their way of living and survive over the long haul. If developed nations moved more toward sustainability, profits could be long term, wars over resources could be avoided, and we could truly help feed the world.
What did I tell you? Idealist. For my part right now, I’ll reduce my carbon footprint, support sustainable agriculture, and save money while doing it. I’ll also write a little blog where I spout green ideals, occasionally give green and thrifty tips, and have fun meeting like-minded folks. Maybe as the kids get older I’ll be able to do even more.
I think it’s possible that, if enough of us commit to changing our little corner of the world, we can change the whole thing. Corporations have to follow consumer demand otherwise they go out of business pretty quickly. If we as consumers demand sustainability, we just might get it.