April 23, 2018

Quiz: what’s more fun than owning a big house full of Everything?

Pop Quiz: what’s more fun than being Rich?

The time is always right to do what is right.

Martin Luther King, Jr., said that. It’s true.

And yet, we don’t. We do what is right when it’s convenient. But we only change the inertia, the direction of society when we do the right thing when it’s hard. That feeling of inconvenience…that is us, swimming upstream. That is us, changing the karma of our town, home, country, or planet.

Today, I was Amtraking down from Seattle to Portland (I’m writing this from Powell’s…my first time here….yes, I’m on cloud nine). Amtrak serves only plastic bottles of water. I hate plastic bottles of water, but I accepted them. There’s no drinking fountain. While I’d had a lot to drink out of the water fountain at the lovingly restored King’s Street Station in Seattle (wow, it’s good to see the commonwealth invested in, instead of leached)…it was a long ride, and I was thirsty, and I never bring my own water (I always enjoy stuff for-here). So, I’d effed up. I did the wrong thing. I created plastic that will never, ever, ever go away. It’ll wind up in the ocean, most likely (recycling is spotty at best and a toxic process, and the plastic degrades, anyways).

That said, recycling plastic, when it happens, if put to good use—say a basketball park or streets or, you know, Timberlands…is a good thing.

There’s always opportunities to redeem ourselves, and heal our planet. Whether it’s eating real unprocessed food, simply (see the video I did recently on our big Instagram, from the bathroom of Cafe Flora, about Michael Pollan’s food rules, which are inscribed there), while sitting down, hopefully in the company of others…or working to make real food available to those living in food deserts, doing the right thing is a calling for our generation—whatever your age.

The world needs us, and participating, swimming upstream—it’s harder, but it’s more meaningful, and it’s more fun that ignoring suffering and challenges and holing up in any gated community, no matter how well-gilded.

Go get ’em—


One way to get on the path: join our online school. Early Application Discount available: $150 for two more moments.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

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.