With all the changes happening in the world, I feel like I’m constantly unlearning my whole life; as a woman, as a vegan, as a slow lifer. It has never been more necessary to slow down and consciously undo and un-learn a lot of the assumptions and knowledge that most of us have been fed since birth. Things that we have absorbed, imbibed and let live in our minds and bodies without really knowing how toxic they are. Awareness is the first step and we seem to be entering an age of awareness where things that have been long suppressed are rising up; torches are being held to the ugly underbellies of the ideas we have been fed under the prevalent ideals of capitalism, white privilege, convenience, patriarchy and permanent growth .
Humans learn through stories and we need a new story to help us; not just a story of hope but a story of action. It is that act itself that contains the power, the power to rage, to protest, to refuse, to reject, to give voice, to shed light, to take power back, to unite, to undo, to help and most importantly to re-learn or newly discover what the alternative could look like.
Action is a beautiful thing, it can start on an individual level with the smallest of steps and travel in ever increasing circles to global levels. Take Greta Thunberg or Extinction Rebellion as examples.
I’m trying to take action in my life and choices everyday. Imperfect but constant action. Not only do I feel better, but I also feel fiercely connected to others who are also taking action. Joining together where I can and feeling a sense of unity does give hope, not empty hope, but hope built on people standing up and saying, ‘no’, I am doing this differently.
The actions I take are; being vegan, recycling, re-using wherever possible, donating to charity, swapping with friends, reducing plastic waste as much as possible, spending money in places that are committed to sustainability and commercial justice, calling out conversations or comments that I don’t agree with, supporting artists directly via Patreon, sharing information on social media and in person, cycling and walking, protesting peacefully, being a member of animals rights groups, writing, talking and reading about it, respecting nature and respecting myself.
It’s not an exhaustive list and in no way am I the perfect example. It is also a personal process. I often feel lost, angry, hopeless, frustrated, guilty, tired etc. But I’m trying. And by trying and talking, connecting and sharing with other people who are also trying, I feel hopeful, connected, lifted, active, fulfilled and brave.
Individually we don’t have the whole story, but if we live out our actions consistently, we can join our patchwork of words and lines together until we have a new and beautiful story for humanity.