When I left my job as a copywriter two years ago, I was sure of one thing.
I wanted to save the world. The environment was crumbling and so were the smiles on our carefully doctored instagram photos.
This was my responsibility!
I carried the burden of world change around like a sack of spuds between my shoulder blades—desperately waiting for a eureka moment. A bolt of light that would reveal my divined path, that all the spiritual gurus spoke of.
The one huge act I was going to carry out for the world at large. To save the people, the ocean, the trees and plants—everyone would be helped by my actions.
So, while I was waiting for this great idea, I went about my days, the best I could.
I worked at a local wine shop, so I could walk to work and I had lunch at home. I made friends with alcoholics, giving them cuddles when they came in at midday for their hip flasks and giant beers. And sometimes I chatted, but mostly listened to an old lonely lady, named Betty, that had no children of her own.
I ate healthy, organic food and the occasional burger. I wore a Viking helmet and universal leggings with red, six inch heels to get myself a coffee on Monday mornings. I would hug and talk to all of the grey people who were miserable and heading off to their corporate jobs, explaining my journey and telling them they needed to leave the lives behind that were making them unhappy too.
I sang, I picked up rubbish, I cooked meals for my roommates and friends. I wrote poetry and stories about my journey—that I released into the blogging ether.
I also prayed. Prayed for help, prayed for change and prayed to be of service.
But still no eureka moment!
Was I going to do absolutely nothing with my life? Was I going to be relegated to the life of the poor and down trodden? Bereft of any real vision or purpose? Oh, bless the old judge. We certainly like to get ourselves down don’t we?
It wasn’t until I put myself back in the corporate world again, that I managed to achieve total melt down. I developed Chronic Fatigue/Adrenal Fatigue and I had to take a long and gentle look at myself. I say gentle because that’s all we should ever be with ourselves (I learned this from my Chronic Fatigue).
I realized a lot of things. I was already saving the world. Every day in the decisions I was making, I was saving the world. Making people smile, picking up rubbish, eating well, eating tasty, eating because my life depended on it.
I was already saving the world.
I realized we are all doing what we have within our capacity, to help at the time—ourselves, our families, our communities, our countries and therefore our planet.
Wonderfully, the drive to help is something that’s naturally built into us.
Some of us can handle more at times than others and that’s why being human is beautiful. We are, literally, all going into bat for each other every day, in a multitude of ways.
So, how about we all give ourselves a little pat on the back.
The more we encourage ourselves to make the choices that truly make us feel good, on a deep level, we take more steps into the light and toward a positive outcome for our planet. (Sometimes this is as simple as allowing yourself to eat another piece of chocolate). It starts with me and it ends with us.
Will you make friends with the stranger sitting next to you on the train as you read this? Will you pick up a piece of trash on the sidewalk, as you wander down your street?
Will you help your mother do the dishes? Yes, this helps.
Don’t ask me how, I just know.
And as my own mother so aptly put it, when discussing her work within environmental science:
Think globally, act locally.
Author: Samantha Reynolds
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: video still courtesy of the author