Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kindly Hand Me My Cape . . .




I leisurely cruised the blogosphere this morning, making a quick pit stop at all of my favorite blogs and checking in on the green news. Some people were talking about Earth Hour, others about the joys of the farmers' markets and still others about socializing in the green scene. All interesting, thought provoking stuff.

Then I hit Crunchy Chicken's blog. She had a post up about her project to provide teenage girls in Africa with reusable menstrual pads - a grassroots effort that she has dubbed Goods 4 Girls. I'll admit that, while I am aware of this campaign, I have not been involved in it or even donated to it . . . yet. Crunchy ended her post by begging for help. The demand for her "goods for girls" has far outstripped her supply such that she needs help spreading the word and gathering more donations. That she is pleading for help got my attention. This is a woman who appears to easily juggle working outside the home, two young children, a husband fighting an incurable form of cancer, while churning out insightful, entertaining daily posts, orchestrating Internet-wide environmental challenges and creating an organization designed to help girls half way around the world. This is not a woman who asks for help and, if she is asking for my help (and yours), you bet I'm going to give it to her.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote that the "cure" to global warming "involved reaching down into ourselves and pulling out a new kind of person." (Animal Vegetable Miracle, p. 345). I've wondered for some time what Ms. Kingsolver meant by that and what kind of person we would need to pull out. I'm thinking it needs to be someone like Crunchy. A doer. Someone who sees a problem and sets about trying to fix it. Someone who doesn't stop to doubt what impact they might have or whether it will be too hard or too tiring or take too long. Someone who will take a risk and speak up. Someone who lives according to their ideals. A twenty-first century super hero.

We don't all have to go out and start a foundation to help African teens. But let's not let Crunchy take all the glory! As far as I can tell, she is not gifted with great wealth, access to the Oval Office, the I.Q. of Einstein (though her graphics do show a touch of genius), or even x-ray vision. There is no reason that we cannot, like Crunchy and other green super heroes, get off the couch and write a letter to the editor about a city's ban on recycling or ask for filtered water at work or advocate a no idling zone at our kids' schools. Even packing a waste free lunch, biking to errands, being the only person on your block to rip out their grass, or convincing a reluctant spouse to turn down the hot water heater are heroic actions. Are we up to the challenge? Can we pull out that new kind of person Ms. Kingsolver envisioned?

Kindly hand me my cape. There's a phone booth with my name on it and carbon emissions to be saved.


9 comments:

Crunchy Chicken said...

Oh, now I'm getting all emotional. Thanks, green bean.

Sandra said...

I have just found your blog. I have gone back over many of your entries, I found them very inspiring. I am really at the beginning of my journey. We took part in Earth Hour and as a teacher/librarian I encouraged many of the children at school to talk to their parents about taking part.

Anonymous said...

just to say...your blog is so inspirational to me. thank you. these were the words (sort of) i found myself thinking last night in trying to build up the courage to take the next step from my own individual efforts out into the community. your phone booth couldn't have been more timely! i WILL slip into that cape, i WILL gather my facts and ideas together and i WILL make it to that meeting!

Green Bean said...

CC: Now, now! You rock. Let us all asipre to be more chicken-ish.

Sandra: That is so wonderful that you participated in Earth Hour and, as a teacher and librarian, are spreading the world to the children. In your position, you have great influence for change. I'm so happy to hear you are using it!

Anonymous: Thank you so much. I don't know about Crunchy Chicken, but moving into the community doesn't come naturally to me. I find, though, the more I do it, the easier it is. Congratulations for slipping on your cape! It is a huge step to make that decision. Give yourself a pat on your caped back!

Fake Plastic Fish said...

I saw a phone booth for you yesterday while we were shopping for a second-hand door at Urban Ore, the place to satisfy all your used building materials needs in the East Bay. Michael considered buying it, as, you know, he often needs a place to change while fighting crime. But maybe I should have them hold it for you. Waddya think?

CindyW said...

GB, I actually think Crunchy Chicken is superchicken in disguise. How else can you interpret her super-productivity? I am looking at my house - a huge mass. I don't work full time, and my husband is very helpful in all things domestic. Still I can't seem to get around to do anything on time.

You convinced me. Off to Goods 4 Girls I go

Chile said...

Someone once told me that if something really bothers you, that is an indication that you should do something about it. I suspect that's how nonprofits such as Crunchy's endeavor get started. If some need or injustice is driving you batty, it's time to put on that cape and do something about it. Rip out your lawn, do guerilla gardening, volunteer locally, donate to worthy causes, use less/waste less, and don't be afraid to be an example for others. Share the changes you've made in your own life and encourage others!

Green Bean said...

Beth: Ahhh, Urban Ore, I know the place. I can see why Michael was attracted to the phone booth but he's already established his super heroism. Save some for the rest of us and please put it on hold for me asap!

Cindy: Ha, superchicken. I wish I'd thought of that. Let's pretend that Crunchy's home is a mess (like ours).

Chile: hear hear! It's hard to step out and be different from everyone else but it's the only way we'll get anything done and, heck, it feels so good to do the right thing.

cnsathya said...

Iam very much impressed with this blog because of regular posting and about nature. Iam a software engineer I resigned my job going to start a small business with products with organic, natural and handmade products. Regarding napkin I am going to manufacture menstrual cloth napkin dyed with Turmeric. Turmeric is powerful antiallergenic and antifungal. I like to know about your comments and ideas.

cnsathya@gmail.com

Regards
c.n.sathya

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...