“But we can't do this forever, and we face the much wider problem of poor air quality every day. The Saharan dust will pass, but we will continue to fail its citizens on air quality. Children's developing lungs are at particular risk, both long- and short-term.” –The Guardian
First it was Beijing, then Paris, now London. It seems this past month or so, major cities around the world have been dealing with beyond hazardous air quality. People, especially children, are advised to stay indoors. Public transportation is encouraged, single drivers are discouraged, and indoor recess is mandated. And then the beyond-hazardous smog passes and life continues as usual.
But I don’t want life to continue as usual, because the usual is wasteful and destructive. These stories, along with the bleak reports from the recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scare me and anger me. And today, I am ready for change. Radical change. Inconvenient and difficult change. At least I hope am.
But I don’t know where to begin. Sure, I’ve inconvenienced myself (and embarrassed myself) by always refusing the notorious plastic shopping bag, even when I forget my own reusable ones. “No, I’m tired of plastic,” I smugly state as I try to shove seven loose pears into my already bulging pockets and beg my 3-year-old to help carry out the plastic-wrapped cheese. I use cloth diapers, I air-dry, I buy organic milk. But something tells me that all these saintly acts aren’t enough. Not anymore.
I’m searching for something bigger and more meaningful—something beyond the plastic bag refusal. I’m searching, at least I think I am, for something radical. That’s the word I keep coming back to, and every time I hear it, think it, and use it, I think of Jesus. To me, the word is synonymous with Jesus. He didn’t choose a lifestyle of convenience and ease. He didn’t follow the masses, and I don’t want to either, even though the masses provide a much smoother and clear-cut path.
That is all that I have to offer right now. The possibility and hope for something to be different in my life. I don’t know what it is. I would love some feedback, suggestions, and stories of your own radical acts to help motivate me along, because right now I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the world around me and very confused with how I should respond.
I don’t know what to do . . . yet. But my eyes keep wandering towards the three cars currently parked in our driveway. . . .