Thursday, December 13, 2007

2008: How Many Power Outages Does It Take To Change a Lightbulb?

28 suggestions for a more meaningful year next year

1) Change your light bulbs. The next time you're at Pick 'n Pay or the Spar, load up your trolley with the energy saving ones. Go on.
2) When you leave the office, shut down your computer. Get into the habit.
3) Stop smoking. Simple as that.
4) Get involved in the political process. Start the process. If you're lazy, start a blog. If you're energetic, make a poster and run kicking and screaming into the streets but do something. It's crazy that people like George W. and JZ can even be considered for the positions they were candidates for, but people like you chose them, and people like you did or said nothing when others said they would choose them. Get involved, say something.
5) Buy a bicycle, use one if you have one.
6) Eat less meat: it's not good for you, or the environment, much less the poor critters enduring real life, right now, Auschwitz conditions. KFC = Kentucky Fried Cruelty. Each time you eat there, you're endorsing cruelty.
7) Get curious about your religious beliefs. Make a shortlist of things you believe and test them out against incontrovertible evidence, such as your own experience, or someone elses. Try not to be deluded. Then see if you really do believe what you say you believe.
8) Laugh. It will help you to live longer and remind others that a) you are not a machine and b) that they are not machines
9) Call your parents (or visit their graves if they're not around)
10) Listen. Whoever speaks to you next. Listen to what they say. Look at them. Wait for them to ask you a question or solicit a response before you respond, and when you respond, respond to something you have observed about them, or appreciated in what they have just said.
11) Give to the poor, even if it is a little, and you only do it once. Do it today.
12) Turn off the TV, radio, music and spend 5 minutes not exposed to noise, including the noise in your head. Just feel alive, just Be you. Remember the feeling, because that's who you are. Be Here, Now.
13) Express yourself. Write about something you care about. Put it on a blog, or on your fridge, or send it to a wider domain like Remember that a good sentiment is like a ripple, that can have many unintended, magical, positive effects
14) Smile. Right now, even if it's an inward smile. Find something to smile about. I'll give you a moment while I take one myself.

Sometimes reality is amusing.
15) Spend time with children, preferably your own. Pay attention to them, even if it in a sense of awkward fascination at how much fun they can have at your expense. Watch and learn. Wait until you appreciate them for who they are, and try not to change or judge what they are doing.
16) Go on a hike. Commune in nature. Don't hurry, take in the view, put your hands on rocks and the stems of trees. Try to absorb your surroundings as leaves absorb the light and warmth of the sun. It's just as good for you.
17) Plant something, anything.
18) Drink a glass of cold water on a hot day. It tastes better than coffee, and it's healthier.
19) Remember your dream. Leave a pen and paper beside your bed until you're able to remember a dream you've had. It's an interesting exercise, and repetitive dreams are trying to tell you something.
20) Phone free kit. They say talk is cheap, but nowhere is it more expensive than in South Africa. But talking face to face is free. Try not to use your telephone for 24 hours. The day before you do this, arrange to meet someone you regularly talk to.
21) Eat a pear. In City of Angels Nicolas Cage reminds us what a miracle life is. Eat a pear and remember the grainy texture.
22) Speak to your neighbours. Discuss a crime reaction strategy, and put their number on your phone. They could save your life, and you could be called to save theirs.
23) Buy someone flowers.
24) Bath less, shower more.
25) Buy local. At the supermarket, don't buy mussels from China. If at all possible, don't buy any tinned food from China, it's an incredibly polluted country and incredibly expensive to get all those preserved corpses to your kitchen's shelf.
26) Avoid the Coke Side of Life. Despite the cheerful marketing and seemingly good intentions, the stuff is pretty toxic, it's a mood wrecker, and it will make you fat. Drink iced tea and slowly wean your way back to water.
27) Drive carefully. Mistakes wreck lives, and taking risks to get ahead simply are not worth it.
28) Sing. Or hum, in the car, or in the garden. Life is a gift, and you're still here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tks for the inspirational piece Nick, made me stop rushing here at work and take time to appreciate all the good things that are pushed aside when life gets hectic!
Gonna buy a pear now - who knows, maybe I'll bump into an angel?