Honoring your green path

by Betty on March 3, 2008

We humans have a nasty habit of comparing ourselves with others.

I know I’m guilty of it.

Last week I heard someone praising a member of her office who rode his bike to work, fanatically turned off all the lights (sometimes in rooms where meetings were still taking place), collected the coffee grounds for his home garden, and took it upon himself to make sure the recyclables were actually getting recycled. (Sounds like Betty’s boyfriend or something!) This person clearly plays an important role creating a better “office” world.

Now when I first overheard this, I squirmed. My mind immediately went to the fact that I drive my kids around in a compact mini-van that gets at most 19 miles per gallon. Never mind the good stuff happening over here, I should be doing more stuff like that over there.

There are too many incorrect assumptions here to count, but the biggest one is that I could actually bike into town with my two kids, laptop, five recycle bins, and 8-10 cloth reusable bags and, until four weeks ago, my sweet Viszla dog all in tow!

But talk about an inefficient use of energy. Comparing your path with another’s. (voice in the head: Oooohh, that one looks so much greener and lush and wow – that’s what my path should look like).

My friends, it is a path. It’s a process.

The risk when I feel guilty or slip into negative patterns (feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the world’s problems, for example) is when I’ve jumped off the path entirely.

I’m going to honor my “green” path, knowing there will be places where I’ve planted a seed of change (researching an alternative vehicle), others I’m watering and tending (making alternative choices when it comes to food purchases), some places are lush and blooming (my family accumulates very little trash – we’ve got the recycling/donating/less consuming thing down pretty well). Other spots have some weeds that haven’t been pulled yet because I can’t decide if they should stay or not.

So stop and smell the flowers. And realize that yesterday you might have taken a couple steps backward, but tomorrow you’ll take one step forward. As long as we stay on the path, we’re doing well.

Warm wishes,

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