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Choose to be a Hero!

Everyone’s looking for heroes, Why not be one yourself? You can choose to be a hero – for yourself, your family, your community.

When I first looked at this book my thought was “Oh, just another one of those…” I have a right to say that because I’m 71, an old hippy, was an activist for most of my life – been there, done that. I live in a tiny attic apartment, practice simplicity, walk almost everywhere I go, eat organic, recycle, and wouldn’t think of using Round-Up to poison my neighbors’ dogs or children or organic gardens.

I thought I knew all about it when I became a recluse thirty years ago from knowing too much about things I couldn’t do anything about and feeling overwhelmed by sheer frustration with the ignorant people in the world who just refuse to accept responsibility for their actions.

Then I read this book and felt encouraged for the first time in many years – not for me, but for the continuation of life on this planet. If enough people read it, if enough people actually take action instead of just boring their friends with “hate this” posts about government, environment, food, politics, banking, etc. – then I believe, with author Divans, that you young guys have a chance.

To be honest, I did learn something that I suspected was true when my friend in Florida lost his house during the mortgage bubble fiasco, but didn’t have the facts – like this one: “…banks essentially create money out of debt…The banks are banking on the unfortunate fact that most of us don’t have time to pay attention to what they’re doing.”

The author nailed me. I had dropped the ball long ago on “know your enemy.” I’m on the downside of the mountain but you young guys are just starting. Sadly, you can’t afford to be so casual.

But the book isn’t all doom and gloom. The author’s sustaining theme is “how to live in harmony with yourself, your planet, and your neighbors.” Forget about “saving the world.” Earth/Gaia can toss us fleas off her anytime she chooses! Instead, focus on your own life, how you can experience more joy. For example, consider his tips for building a sanctuary in your backyard (chapter 32).

And for those of us who want to “pass gracefully,” as good stewards of Gaia, consider the ideas in chapter 33 – like becoming a tree instead of a space-consuming, health-hazard box full of chemicals.

The author is gentle in his recommendations and has wisely cautioned new and old heroes alike to start small and be like Frodo or Aragon:

Try to remember how you felt when you first discovered how messed up our planet is. Maybe that was just a couple sections ago, in this very book. Or maybe you’ve known for a long time but were paralyzed—as many of us have been—by despair that your efforts might have no real consequence or weight, that the problem was just too big for one person to make a difference.

As a former change-agent (one who helps people make changes), I urge new heroes to follow his advice:

Whatever you do, DO NOT try to make too many changes at once! This is the kiss of death for any new lifestyle change. Take one small section of this book, like the food section, for example, and focus on that one for a month or two months, however long it takes to make the changes you want to make. Remember also, that the changes I suggest are only ideas of ways to help curb waste and pollution to the environment while at the same time improving the quality of life for you and your family.

Even though I am not the committed LOTR fan the author is, I appreciated his references, because I enjoyed the movies and actually read the books first.

But being familiar with Lord of the Rings, Tolkien, Frodo et.al., is certainly NOT required for reading, understanding, and making changes in your life to “Be part of the solution, not part of the problem” (the mantra that stayed on my blackboards when I taught inner-city kids in the late 60s). Or, if I were teaching in today’s culture hooked on graphic novel heroes, seeking examples of a better life, “Be a hero – for yourself, your family, your community!”

 

[Please note that I am NOT an Amazon affiliate. Moi? Did you read the first paragraph? I do, however, support people and products I believe are worthy of sharing. Please don’t ask me to review anything. I really prefer to choose for myself. Thanks!]

Till next time, please be kind to everyone you meet for we all have our hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi

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