I have been having a lot of conversations around the idea of creating change lately. From living rooms to conference centres, there are many discussions taking place about how to create the change that we need in our world. A lot of these conversations have focussed on food, something that is vital to us all. A lot of those conversations have also focussed around change and how do we create change.
Just a few years ago, I thought “organic” was some trend of the elite. The letters GMO meant nothing to me. I was blind. I was content to see the world through my rose-coloured glasses and indulge in my genetically modified food stuffs, blissfully ignorant to what I was doing to my body. And then I had an awakening moment, and I could no longer ignore what was happening all around me. On my own property even. Since taking off those rose-coloured glasses, I see the world in a whole new light. What mattered so much before, means little to me now.
And I am not the only one. I have met so many people on my journey who are on similar journeys. They too are seeking a simpler kind of life.
Conversations might be happening, but I am still having a hard time answering the following question:
How do we create change?
I know we have to change. If you are reading my blog, you likely know that we have to change. But the problem is, how do we create change? How do we change the status quo system that is clearly failing? How do we convince people to see the truth when they are far to convenience by the byproducts of this system?
The only way I know how to do that, is to continue the conversation and to continue on the path to sustainability.
A single stone cast into pond creates a series of ripples.
We are casting stones by growing our own food, by raising chickens (and hopefully turkeys and goats too), by cooking from scratch, by buying what we can’t produce from sustainable farmers and by talking about what we are doing. The latter action is key to creating change.
How do we create change? We create change by exchanging knowledge and teaching each other skills. By encouraging others to see the benefits of sowing seeds and digging in the dirt. By sharing what we know about farming, gardening and homesteading to encourage others to do the same.
“When you drop any new idea in the pond of the world, you get a ripple effect. You have to be aware that you will be creating a cascade of change.”
Joel A. Barker
That’s the only way I know how to create change. By being the change you want to see.
It will take time. I find this part the most frustrating.
I feel like giving in sometimes. Like no one hears what I have to say. Like no one cares.
But then I find the people who do. Those people who just get it. The kind that see the writing on the wall and are doing something to try and change it. The kind of people that can sit around a living room full of strangers and talk about the stones they are casting in the pond and the ripples spreading from them.
I like to count myself as one of those people.
I talk a lot about food and farming. Some might tire of hearing me babble about my obsession with goats or how I am a kale-growing superstar (it’s not that hard, we can all be kale-growing superstars. It’s like a weed. It’s the new zucchini — the overabundant crop that you have plenty to share with anyone who will take a few stems). But that doesn’t stop me. I am passionate about these two topics. It’s what drives this blog (which I really, really need to get better at posting regularly). It’s what drives the budding farm on my two-acre slice of paradise. It’s what drives the changes I am making in my life.
I have been thinking a lot about the changes I have made: I am raising a small flock of heritage chickens for eggs, I am growing my own food, I am cooking from scratch, I am supporting local farmers when I can. I also think about the things I want to do: raise chickens and turkeys for meat, make goat cheese from milk produced by my own herd, open a small farm store. But what I get hung up on are the things that I do that contribute to the problem: the things that stand in the way of positive change. I still rely on the grocery store for my food purchases. I don’t always buy my meat from local sources. I don’t always buy and eat organic. I waste a lot of food. I waste a lot of time binge watching Netflix (right now, it’s Chuck). I suck at meal planning.
Do you see a theme there?
I can hear my yogi Sam telling me that’s not true. That I don’t suck at anything, I allow myself to suck at it by saying that I suck at it. Far too often I give into that voice that tells me I am doing something wrong or that I am not good at it. Nine times out of 10 I probably give in. And then I make excuses for it. I pass the blame.
There is nothing wrong with meal planning. Several people are able to do it successfully. There are thousands of blog posts on the Internet dedicated to meal planning. Thousands of people can successfully meal plan. And there is nothing wrong with me (some people might debate that). I can meal plan, I just haven’t given it my all. Just like I can be a crow pro (#crowpro right Sam?), I just haven’t let go of the fear of failing (and falling, because I would literally fall on my head).
Since winter is coming and I have some time on my hands, I have decided to tackle mastering the art of the meal plan. That is just one way I plan to help create that change. I also plan to cut down on food waste and incorporate more meatless meals into our diet. All of this of course can be done with a meal plan.
How do you create change? Tell me in the comment section below.