Tuesday, July 20, 2004

And Now we are Thirty

Well, what can I say - I've had a birthday that has launched me well beyond any misconception of still being a kid - I've hit 30.
When you're a twenty-something, you still think of yourself as young-ish, students are in their 20's for crying out loud. When you're twenty, you still have a close enough connection to the educational system, albeit the tertiary education system, but even that remains as a tenous last bastion of youth.
Now that I'm thirty, I get the impression that I should be a grown-up... you always think of things you'll do "...when you grow up..." and then WHAM! Someday being grown up just slaps you in your slowly settling ass and says "HA! I'm here -you're all grown up now!"
Now? So fast? (...are we there yet?)

All those years I spent trying to be so grown up and mature - fighting against my waning childhood with all my might. Now I just want it back. I don't think I want to grow up. And if it's happened to me already, well then, I just won't accept - I'll call Do over! home free, and no touchbacks.

Is it because I haven't done any of those typical "grown up" things, like get married, have a honeymoon and have kids? Is that why I don't feel like a grown up? I have a house - and my own little family ("...oh there are five beings in my family...") a very significant significant other, two cats and a dog.

Does anyone ever truly "feel" like a grown up? I wonder, if all those other grown ups out there still think of themselves as big kids, still loving life and trying to treat every day as an adventure? There is no way for me to know, I can only hope that they do.

For my thirtieth birthday, I spent the day swimming up north in Georgian Bay, jumping off high rocks (and low rocks) into the water with my boyfriend and my dog - I sure felt like a kid, even if the concept of time says differently.

Here's to the inner kid in all of us, and may they never grow old.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Turning Anger to Action

Sacre Vache, that's a hard movie to watch... hard to watch, but I hope EVERYBODY sees it!
We went to see Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 yesterday - and I have never had a movie affect me in this way. I was so angry, and sad and frightened by the whole thing, and then angry some more. It was stupefying - I came out of there feeling like there was nothing to say. I think I needed some time to digest everything that had been burned into my brain.
Kudos to you, Mike, this is a really moving film - I certainly hope that it moves people to action, because that is exactly what I felt leaving there - I felt that I have to DO SOMETHING! And, as though he knew this was the feeling the film would elicit, Mike in all his wisdom chose to display his own website url beneath the text "Do Something"
So, I urge anyone who is a sentient being to see the movie, visit Michael's website, and Do Something.
Now that it's the morning after seeing the film, and I have had time to process what I saw, I have realized that all those feelings of anger and sadness and helplessness that first hit me watching the movie have turned to feelings of hope. If we can all get just as angry, and use that energy for something positive, we will be able to make a difference.
And it doesn't apply to just this scenario - everything that you feel passionate about, be it animal welfare, the environment, healthcare, child labour - you name it - if you are passionate enough to feel angered by something, you have the energy to put to good use and bring about change.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Fair Trade

Have you ever stopped to think about the people around the world who provide us with the everyday goods we take for granted in our indulgent lifestyles?

Many of the items we buy were manufactured, produced or grown in a country other than our own – and in many cases this means that the people doing the labour to provide us with these products can’t even afford to buy what they produce. Everything from coffee to chocolate, to cotton, to electronic equipment can be produced in various countries around the world at a fraction of the labour it would cost to produce here. Of course this is good news for big business – but is it good news for the people who are being paid those fractions of wages?

And there are issues outside of low wages as well - many companies have little care for the ecosystems they operate in, particularly if the head office is in a different continent. Animals and environments can also be endangered by big business in the third world.

As consumers, we all make choices everytime we purchase a product or service. Here are some websites you can check out to become a more educated consumer:

Click here to go to the Oxfam Canada site

Click here to go to the Rainforest Alliance site

And this is just a start - the more you investigate, the more you'll see how each of us has the power to make educated and responsible choices to make a difference.