Friday, November 23, 2012

Trying to stay positive in a world of negativity

I learned something yesterday. Well, actually I realized something, because I believe I have always known that my way of living is different from that of others. I had difficulty keeping myself engaged in conversations because my thoughts and opinions were different than those around me. At times I felt like banging my head against the wall because nobody seemed to understand what I was saying.

I believe that everyone has the right to their own opinions about politics, the environment, and what type of job is best for them. I don’t believe that someone should be put down or made to feel inferior because their opinions may not be the norm. I live an eco-friendly lifestyle, love wildlife, love photography, and believe that in some small way I am doing something to make this world a better place.

I do my best to minimize waste and recycle everything I can. Seeing so many things go into a trash can that can be recycled hits a nerve that I can’t seem to get over. Yet it seems I have to walk on eggshells when voicing this opinion. Seeing plastic bags everywhere drives me crazy – people reusable bags are not that expensive and they won’t sit in landfills or pollute the oceans. In fact, most stores sell them for under a dollar. The food waste during the holidays is unbelievable. I won’t even get started on this one.

I don’t believe in giving a lot of materialistic gifts. We don’t need them and sadly, most will end up in a landfill at some point. Sure, I purchased a camera for my son as a gift this year, but he is passionate about photography and needs a camera that actually works to pursue this passion. For the third year in a row, I will be giving friends and family gifts that cannot be bought in a store. I will be purchasing wish list items from the San Diego Zoo and adopting animals to help save wildlife. These gifts come from the heart and I would be honored to receive such a gift. What difference does it make if my family spends $50 on a gift that I can probably do without or if they adopt an animal in my name for $50?

If a rhino is murdered in Africa, most people don't give it a second thought. Me on the other hand - I sit here and cry as I'm reading the news story wondering what I can do to make it all stop. I believe in making a change for the better and that the results of my actions will last longer than my life here on earth.

Last night I was talking with a friend and she reminded me to keep following my passions. She said that the older generations dislike change and that the best we can do is keep voicing our beliefs and teach the younger generations. I already knew what she said was true, but it never hurts to be reminded that it is ok to be different – to march to the beat of your own drum.

I will …
Never give up.
Stay strong.
Be positive.

Why? Because …
One person can make a difference.

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