1. Find the thing you love to do. Do it.
2. Know what skills or traits you're proud of. Grow them.
3. Surround yourself with people that inspire you.
4. Make others happy.
7. Notice beauty.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how we live—we gas-pumping, plastic-wrapping, internet-surfing, walmart-going people. I've been wondering if we're on the brink of something big—some cataclysmic ecological or social crisis that will tear our oil-driven subsistence from our hands. I've also been thinking, though, that it hardly matters whether we are or are not. In terms of personal integrity, it doesn't matter if the end is next year or next millennium. For those of us who've noticed (or those of us who believe) that we are driving ourselves to eventual or imminent calamity, there's an answer: live differently.
A total, cold-turkey severence from the status quo is one thing, and there have been times I've thought of it: join a commune. Build an earthship. Make my shoes. Today, I don't think that's my answer. We have a mortgage. We work to pay the bills. We drive 20 miles to get our goat bred. We wash our clothes in an electric machine and cook our breakfast over a propane flame. I'm not ready to kiss those conveniences goodbye, but there are changes I could make every day. I could tackle harvesting produce with the same enthusiasm I show for grocery shopping, and I could make, barter, and salvage a great deal more than I do.
I will can soup tomorrow, and I will bake the next day. It will save me a trip to Costco, and take me one step closer to my personal truth. I'd like to be proud of the way I live. I'd like to create more beauty than I destroy. I'd like to live honestly.