today marks the one year anniversary for homeland improvement day-- yeah!!!! the first year produced questionable results in terms of involvement and, apparently, inspiration, but that's ok, being that it is what it is. it was the first year, and, as i will elaborate below, i suspect that it created changes yet unknown.
however, i want to report on a couple changes that were definitely inspired by last year's HID:
1) i, hilary, did indeed join my local produce co-op. i shared a basket with my friend and we stuffed ourselves with healthy, organic, nutrient-rich, and mainly GREEN vegetables for 20-something weeks. once the program had completed, i went to the grocery store to buy produce, and i literally wandered in circles, not knowing how to buy produce anymore from the cold, sterile, mass produced aisles. i've basically avoided the grocery store since then.
2) i just learned on christmas day that my father was inspired by HID and without ever telling hannah or me, he donated to the program KIVA. KIVA sets up micro-loans for individuals in underprivileged countries; you actually choose the individual you would like to donate to (guided by sex, country, service, product, values, etc.). then, the individual pays back some of the loan and you in turn donate again to another individual of your choosing. it is not only sustainable; it is self-regenerating. totally awesome program. i believe my father donated to people in uganda and mongolia, assumedly because he feels connected to those countries as i and my mother have volunteered in those countries, respectively. so, the good news is that he donated to KIVA, he was inspired by HID, and because i did not know this until last week, i believe there is a good chance that others made commitments last year without reporting it on the HID blog or facebook pages. this is exciting because it is important to realize and vital to believe that changes are made, seeds are sown, and branches and entangled constantly and often without our knowledge. i am a clinical social worker and i know that the changes being made in my clients are often glacially slow and often do not emerge or become obvious until some future time; i may not even witness the product of the change but the work faithfully continues. so, dad, thank you for donating to KIVA.
3) where HID meets KIVA produced another exponential growth; my father donated to KIVA in hannah's and my names for this christmas. we will now choose people to donate the gift of sustainability to and it will regenerate again and again and again.
as i've reflected on the progress i made with my HID commitments i made last year, i admit i did not do so well with the other two (not driving often and combating homelessness/unemployment). the problem with driving is my busy lifestyle; i am so rushed that i consolidate trips and driving makes the most sense. i'd like to bike more but there's always another trip i have to tag on to the first and driving makes the most sense; either i don't have time to ride or i am going too far. so, i still need to work on this one. in terms of homelessness/unemployment, i have access to information on resources through my job, and i have pathetically not tapped into those. i think i feel so overwhelmed and discouraged by homelessness that i have avoided jumping into this one. every time i see a person begging for money on the side of fayette and the jfx in baltimore, it just kills me. but i feel disempowered and i have allowed myself to sink in that and that is poor of me. i will re-commit to this one and be more diligent.
i've learned that we are creatures of habits and pattern, and making change can be darn hard. it takes not only an initial commitment, but every day, a re-commitment. it takes re-prioritizing. it takes humility and a broad perspective. i empathize with the sad state of things in the world because i have some understanding of how these things develop and are perpetuated. that's why i need to be even more serious with homeland improvement day this year; it's simply a tool to increase awareness and jump-start or jump-continue us into action. thank you to everyone for all you already do to try to make this country, yourselves, and this planet a better place. every single one of my family members and friends live with awareness and intention as they walk this earth in the most loving way possible. i know this.
please make comments on this post or request to be added as an author so you can write at will anytime. the more we have conversations and share, the more we develop the potential to deepen the roots and tangle the branches...
with love and peace to all (from all and through all),