This is the third week of my happiness and sustainable deed diary where I aim to write down one thing that makes me happy and one sustainable deed, however small, that I have performed each day for a month. This week in class we discussed what makes a change maker. On a fundamental level being able to make change requires that your basic needs are fulfilled. I believe with that privilege comes the responsibility to effect positive change in what ever way we can. Tim Jackson talks about change in ‘Prosperity Without Growth’ as something that can be
“…expressed through the way we live, the things we buy, how we travel, where we invest our money, how we spend our leisure time. It can be achieved through our work. It can be influenced by the way we vote and the democratic pressure we exercise on our leaders. It can be expressed through grass-roots activism and community engagement. The pursuit of an individual frugality, a voluntary simplicity, is considerable.”
While governments and businesses can change situations, I believe the only person we can truly change is ourselves and by doing so we may also inspire others. Dorothy Day said “the greatest challenge of today is how to bring about a revolution of the heart – a revolution which has to start with each one of us”.
Monday 22th January
Happy For: Finding the courage to speak from my heart. Sustainable Deed: Eating leftovers.
Tuesday 23th January
Happy For: An interesting discussion with classmates, realising what peer teaching was all about. Sustainable Deed: Taking a bread ‘heel’ instead of cutting a fresh slice in the school canteen.
Wednesday 24th January
Happy For: Feeling inspired after watching nature documentaries at the Nordic Culture Centre. In one film I liked how a man who creates mountain bike trails in Denmark explained that his aim is ‘not to change nature, but to enhance what is already there’. Sustainable Deed: Picking up street rubbish (and recycling it!)
Thursday 25th January
Happy For: Hearing a songbird for the first time this year. Sustainable Deed: Making sure I only boil as much water as I need.
Friday 26th January
Happy For: Being able to cycle again now the snow has melted and trying new Finnish dishes with Maria (Karjalanpiirakka with egg butter). Sustainable Deed: Using a handkerchief rather than tissues to deal with my cold.
Saturday 27th January
Happy For: Lazy mornings, eating breakfast on Maria’s rug and discussing the value of sitting on the floor. Sustainable Deed: Reusing old packaging to transport my lunch.
Sunday 28th January
Happy For: Seeing Aino, our 3 year old friend in Quaker Meeting and having the opportunity to share her sense of excitement at the simplest things. Sustainable Deed: Turning down the temperature of the fridge.