Forgive me for my title. On one hand I feel as if there is nothing more that could be said about any of these things that’s going to matter, and on one hand I feel the weight of lingering solutions to the problems we all (still) aren’t talking enough about.before this moon cycle ends, with the New Moon January 6th, I would like to send 2018 a final farewell with a list of 18 things I would like to banish from the world.
I invite you to add a comment with your own contributions of things you’d like to banish!
- Waiting passively.
We all keep watching Washington like it’s the only thing that can fix all of the problems. And it’s not. The government CANNOT fix all our problems. If we are lucky, they will do a couple of good things that make a lasting positive difference for anyone who isn’t already rich and white. I certainly am happy and hopeful about the diverse group of women and men who took their seats in the House on Friday, but we can’t all just sit back now and wait for things in our country to improve.
If we keep waiting for the legislators to come in and fix everything (including some things on this very list), we will die waiting.
As we keep ourselves uninformed and ignorant and easily manipulated by only listening to Them, They will continue to step on us….
- Self-Doubt, Self-Deprecation, Self-Loathing. Especially done by women.
Please stop saying those bad things about yourself! Please listen to the things you say about yourself, and do everything you can to stop saying them. You are not stupid. You are not ugly. You are beautiful. You are learning the lessons you need to be learning. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. You cannot achieve perfection and no one is expecting you to. Please, just stop talking bad about yourself. In public, online, especially in front of children…even in private, just stop. You deserve better than that. (Try talking to yourself the way you talk to your best friend!)
- Saying “I’m sorry” and all the other ways We make our Self feel small or unworthy.Just pay attention in a day to how many times you hear women (and children) say “I’m sorry” when they’ve done absolutely nothing wrong.I’m sorry, but can I get some help?
I’m sorry, can you please speak up?
I’m sorry, I have other plans.
I’m sorry, I’m just not interested in explaining to you why I’m too busy and/or not interested in going out with you.
Can we all please stop apologizing for our very existence? Why are we apologizing for our needs?If you are just trying to get someone’s attention, let’s bring back saying things like, “hello” and/or “excuse me.”
I read something about this a couple years ago which said to replace the I’m sorry with a thank you; Instead of “I’m sorry I’m late”, say, “Thank you for waiting for me.” It’s a pretty subtle thing, but it might just be what it takes to make you not feel like a burden on others.
There are times when apologies are absolutely necessary, but being human/being imperfect/having opinions/having a bladder…. Are not any of them.
- Food deserts.
- Men who fear the #MeToo movement.
I don’t know how to say this in a way that people will listen, but here’s one more attempt: We, as a species, look for similarities in EVERYTHING. We give human traits to dogs and elephants and flowers and…even electrical outlets smile back at us. Yet, white people as a race fail to see the similarities between themselves and People of Color.Just think about that. We find similarities in EVERYTHING….why would we naturally choose to “other” other people? Other human beings who DO have everything in common with us? Here’s a hint: it was manufactured because the people in power were afraid of an uprising, so they made enemies of white and black people. Systems have been put in place every since, and around the world, to maintain power.
- Over consumption of meat.
If you didn’t personally hunt it or raise it or know the person who did, I don’t think you should be eating it. I say this as someone whose father raises delicious Colorado beef (email me if you’d be interesting in buying some!) so I understand I am in a complete position of privilege and bias when I say this, but truly, that factor is the main reason that I even still eat meat. I know the animals my father raises are well treated, well fed, and well respected in their life and death, and any time that I or anyone else eats meat, I want it to be under those circumstances.
And all of the ways White People hide behind their whiteness and white saviorism and …….White Women who call themselves allies but do not raise up the voices of women of color, indigenous women, Muslim women. Women who call themselves feminists but who aren’t working on dismantling their own overt and innate racism and biases……People who hide Confederate flags in their closets, or wear them proudly on their cars…..People who make excuses for Brett Kavanaugh and are pissed at Kaepernick……
- Shaming others.
- White people blaming their problems on immigrants.
- Complaining about whatever in your life isn’t making you happy instead of doing something about it.
We all have choices to make each and every day. Staying at the job you hate, staying in the town you despise, spending time with people who don’t bring you joy, etc. etc., each of those are a choice every single day. You have agency. You have authorship. You are in control (unless you are under 18 and living at home–in that case, wait it out, and be sure to breathe, and exercise, and eat right, and floss your teeth while you are waiting–your life is going to become completely yours soon, if you choose to make it so. It will be worth it!) Enough with resolutions and getting down on ourselves and giving up and thinking this is just the way it is. Every day you make so many choices to do this…or that. Making one choice on Jan 6th doesn’t mean that you have to make that choice for another 359 days before you can do it differently. We have agency each and every day. We have authorship. We are the writers of our own stories.I also know that I am saying this as a privileged white person. As I write that, I think, would a single mom, a person of color, have the same agency to quit the job that she hates, that is making her unhappy? Not without getting something else first, no doubt. I know we don’t all have the same problems and that all of our problems won’t have the same solutions, but all I’m trying to say here is that if something is not right in your life, don’t just accept it. Do something about it. For more, see #1.
WE THE PEOPLE have a responsibility to do better. Be better ancestors. Read more books written by and about people not like you. Support each other, stop competing with each other. And stop. living. in. your. own. damn. bubble.
- School shootings.
- Migraines and all chronic pain.
- Careless waste.
Fireworks. Plastic bags. Glass jars. Wrapping paper. All the food we throw away. Wastes of time. Something I just discovered called LOL dolls. Do you know how much plastic wrap one of those things uses?We have agency in creating the world we want. We can all do a very simple thing to prevent companies from making things like this anymore….stop buying them!!!
- Obsession with profit over People:
I’ll just carry on from the above: I am so tired of the profit-seeking, capitalistic, greedy-ass Americans. Upon learning that milk is not good for adults and that many of us are intolerant to dairy/lactose, something that causes inflammation and is linked to chronic pain (arthritis and IBS to name a couple), instead of these greedy, corporation owners just saying, –OK, we had a good run. Let’s take our insanely high gross earnings and invest in something else. –Maybe something healthy? -Sure, Bob, let’s invest in something healthy and then doing that, they say, -Oh shit. We better learn how to sell an idea to the population that milk IS good for them, or better yet, let’s keep mass producing milk and mistreating cattle to keep extracting the gross amounts of milk we harvest every year and chemically treat the milk (you know, I have a friend in the chemicals business) so that it really isn’t natural any more, and tell people that IT is good for them!And that’s not the worst part—people believe it. It’s like they choose to believe it. (See #11) It’s easier to just keep spending the money on the crap and spending more money on medicine or simpler yet just to be content in our discomfort that instead of making something else for breakfast, like maybe some vegetables and protein, we continue eating overly processed grains shaped into squares with Their fake ass dairy-free milk. What is wrong with us???
- Big pharma over natural health remedies.
- Supporting the top-earning corporations.
Ok, so my relationship with money has changed a lot in the last year. May this year be the year that yours does, too.
People buy so much shit they don’t need (AKA lactose-free milk) and support companies whose values we don’t really believe in, (AKA companies that test on animals, or companies that, I don’t know….hire rapists as their CEOs, wherever you draw the line…) and then sit around and complain about what our world has come to.WE the PEOPLE allow, and at times encourage, this terrible stuff to happen. We MUST make smarter choices with how we spend our money when we must spend it. We must vote with our money, and make smart choices as consumers. More than anything, Money speaks, and though we all have different amounts of it, and therefore some have more power than others, we do all take a stance each and every time we spend money on something.When we go to Target or Walmart when we need a new spatula instead of to the 2nd hand store, we are telling the producers that want them to keep making new plastic products.When we throw away Tupperware every 6 months because we microwave too much in it and the plastic gets all nasty…we are telling the producers that want them to keep making new plastic products. We are telling Mother Nature that we don’t care about polluting her. Abusing her.
When we make a decision for our company to allow animal testing because we want the additional profits by selling in China, or when we know that a company does that and we still buy their products because “it’s our favorite,” we are taking a stance, voting, condoning, encouraging these bad behaviors that are ruining our planet.
Mother Nature is a Source of Life, not a resource. People are one of her gifts. Please, in 2019 let us all work on banishing the ills of society that we had to witness through 2018.
I could carry on and on about each of these things, but…I feel like I’m beating a dead elephant in the room, so I will just leave you with this:
WE the PEOPLE must do better. And here’s the good news….we CAN do better!
If you’d like to talk more about any of these “to be banished” items, or want to add your own to the list, just comment below!