20 Baby Steps to the Revolution

by Mallory Whitfield on March 15, 2011

Resist clock

Resist! Graffiti Style Recycled Vinyl Record Album Clock, by art by mags!

My dear friend Lou Lou posted a version of the following list the other day on Facebook. (I edited it slightly to remove some personal info, etc.) While the following section is her words, not mine, and some additional suggestions added by my friends, with some of my own at the end, I agree with pretty much everything that has been said, and I thought it worthy of sharing. Please pass along if you’d like, and add your own suggestions for baby steps to the revolution….

From Lou Lou:

1. BUY LOCAL. The big corporations have done the most lobbying damage and the new law allowing them to contribute hugely to political campaigns is destroying our democracy. Don’t give them money. Walmart, Target, AT&T… the list goes on and on of huge companies who contribute big bucks to the Right. This includes online purchases!
2. TURN OFF YOUR TV. They own it. They want your mind. They lie.
3. VOTE and get others to vote. Pester your friends and family. Make sure they are registered and have a ride. And, don’t believe political ads! Do independent research. Arm yourself with it. The only way the bad guys can hurt us is if we believe the ads. All they can do is buy air time. Don’t believe the bullshit.
4. Think small. Everything has gotten big, so think SMALL – slow food, less consumption, smaller businesses, less waste, less room, less noise, less everything. Lower your impact on resources. Americans are known for conspicuous consumption, so work against that. Stop feeding the energy companies.
5. Eat less meat. A pound of meat takes many more pounds of grain to produce, most of it by large Monsanto-controlled farmers. Even substituting two or three meals a week of small farm veggies for big conglomerate meat can help your health and reduce the impact of big corporate $$.
6. Research the brands you use and who they contribute to. Boycott them if you disagree with their policies and let them know. Spread your boycott to friends, family and workplace, if possible. This is a great source for following the money trail:  http://www.opensecrets.org/index.php You can start with Georgia Pacific and their family of products – the source of the Koch Brothers hate-spreading fortune. Their products include: Angel Soft, Northern and Soft n’ Gentle bath tissue, Brawny, Sparkle and Mardi Gras paper towels, Vanity Fair, Dixie, Zee and Mardi Gras napkins and plates.
7. Think BIG. (huh?) Think globally, act locally. Consider your impact and place in the world.
8. Stop smoking. I know, easier said than done. But tobacco companies are overwhelmingly red in their campaign contributions and it just makes sense for your health and for the environment.
9. Stop buying Chinese!! Well, as much as you are able, anyway. It has gotten nearly impossible these days. The Chinese have hideous human rights, labor and environmental records. Our continued trade deficit has led to the loss of American jobs and lined the pockets of the investor class, but no one else.
10. Drive less. You already know where big oil money goes!
11. Read the Bible. Sound weird coming from an atheist? They will use scripture against you. Know how to trip them up. The Bible is full of contradictions and is a clearly humanly written document.

Some thoughts, added by some smart friends:

12.   Protest when necessary, and pass the word along about issues to others. Don’t be afraid to talk about politics and religion. Especially don’t be afraid to talk about being an atheist. Most people keep quiet. – Andrea
13. Teach children these ideas, from day one. Teach them some philosophy, Alan Watts is a great start for kids. Stop raising consumers. – Lacey
14. Learn to fix/repair things. You would be amazed by the things people discard because they can’t repair it, or because when they call the repairman the estimated bill is “almost” the cost of replacement. – Tom

And a few of my own…

15. Cut out plastic from your life. Also easier said than done, but every step towards this is one in the right direction. C’mon, have you SEEN the giant patch of plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean, twice as large as Texas, and killing life for miles around it?
16. Never stop learning. Surround yourself with people smarter than you. Ask questions, and listen to the answers. You are ALWAYS entitled to your own opinion, but arrive at that opinion through educating yourself on all sides of the issue first.
17. Adopt or mentor a kid. If you’re having trouble making babies, and you want kids, please please PLEASE consider adoption instead of spending all of that time, money and emotional turmoil on fertility treatments. Are you really that shallow that a kid is only worth something if it looks like you and shares some of your DNA? There are tons of kids in need, both near to home and on the other side of the world, who could use a caring mom or dad. Some of my best friends in the world were adopted, and they love their parents as much as any genetic kid would.
18. Create something. Whether it’s an event you want to participate in that no one else is organizing, or making something with your hands, the act of creation is powerful.
19. Go outside. Remember what is beautiful about this world, and why it’s worth protecting.
20. Keep adding to this list! Pass it along.

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