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Don’t be Afraid to Care.

There seems to be a pervasive fear of earnestness.

Portlandia, which I’ve covered for years with some enjoyment (some of it’s brilliant, some of it’s just weird)…is built on making fun of earnestness. Of trying to do the right thing (chicken, anyone?).

And that’s healthy. We should make fun of ourselves.

But we shouldn’t let our fear of “being hipster” or whatever stop us from trying to do the right thing. “Do the right thing,” as the old man says. That’s it. Simple.

So try to turn off the lights. Lower the thermostat. Avoid plastic-lined bleached paper to-go cups. Protest, vote. Do so with kindness, not aggression. Meditate. Wear USA-made or local-made or fair-trade. Spend your hard-earned dollars on ethical companies.

But don’t get high on yourself for doing it.

But, too, don’t be afraid of others making fun of you for trying to be a good person. Make fun of yourself first. I call myself “veganboy” when I am trying to figure out what or how to order at restaurants. Instead of saying “I’m vegan, what can I eat?,” I gently make fun of myself. It allows others to know you aren’t claiming superiority, and that you aren’t aggressive, and that you’re fine with sending yourself up.

Mwuah.

Yours in Creating Enlightened Society

Waylon H. Lewis

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.