Thursday, October 4, 2007

Creating Change Maybe Easier than I Think

I have told everyone at work about the Ramadan Compact and why I am choosing to purchase only essential items for the next 30 days.

Every now and then a co-worker will jokingly taunt me about what I can not buy because “remember you made a commitment to only purchase essential items”. That being said we have all contemplated whether cat treats are an essential item, my cats think they are, my co-workers disagree.

Yesterday I mentioned, to a few female co-workers, that Ann Taylor Loft (now I’m not much into clothes but I love Ann Taylor Loft clothing cause of the fit) was having a 60% OFF EVERYTHING SALE!!!!!! Ok I am exaggerating here cause everything is not 60% off, but you get my point. This was a great opening for my co-workers to level their finest comments, in jest, at my expense.

I have not told them, but eventually I will get each and every one of them back. Vengeance will be mine (insert evil laugh here)! Apparently revenge is not something I am giving up this Ramadan ;)

Reducing my consumption has seemed to trigger my co-workers into believing I am some profoundly enlightened being. Of course I have not attempted to sway them from this.

I get comments like “Wow, I could never do that, I really admire what you are doing”, “There’s not many people who would be willing to do this” (I disagree), “Can I worship the ground you walk on” (ok, a slight embellishment here).

Getting serious for a moment. I have realized that by being open about what I am doing people around me have begun to contemplate their individual impact on the environment. Asking questions, inquiring. That is the spark of self-awareness which starts the process of change, and I see it happening with people around me.

Having learned the hard way, I do not tell people what to do, or lecture them, or guilt them into changing behavior (though it seems to work for my mom). I have recognized that the only thing I can do to create change is, as Ghandi said, be the change.

I used to think I had to do something big, I mean BIG to create change. My experience with this project has reminded me change is something that can be simple, unnoticeable, gentle, allow me to be the target of jokes, and can have a big impact.

Do you ever wonder how many people you are influencing by being your very eco-conscious self?


Omaira said...

I dont know about anyone else, but I know I've been influenced a lot by Sanjana and my mum. They are my "green gurus" by the way they conduct their lives..As for the mileage consumption on your car, Sanj...tsk tsk. :) Just joking.

Seriously, you all have made me more aware of aspects of my life that I thought I had a pretty good handle on...i.e. my consumption.

anilamuhammad said...

I am continuously learning from the oddest of places. Like a friend of mine who is republican and is a total animal lover. A pair of purple martins had made a nest over the main entrance of his home this spring. So he put up a sign at his front door asking people not to knock or ring the doorbell and to go around to the side door. The reason…he didn’t want the birds to be disturbed. Awwwwwww. I realized I was judging him based on his political affiliation (cause republicans don’t care about nature). Boy was I humbled.

Omaira said...

Anila, how is this to restore your faith in Republican-ism?

Apparently, your friend is the exception that validates the rule...

Sorry for the cynicism.

Omaira said...

Btw: Thank you for introducing this Canadian to Ann Taylor Loft :)