As of Wednesday, January 20th, 2021, Joe Biden is our new President and Kamala Harris is our new Vice President. There is a sense of hope and progress in the air and change is on the horizon. While there is excitement in the air, I have to remind myself that I have to work just as hard or even harder to continue to build a better world.
Building a better world can feel like an insurmountable task at times. Regardless of that, the energy in the air on Wednesday shows that hard work can pay off even if we are on a long winding road. After the moment of joy we had, we have to remember that the work isn't done and we have to get back to work. There are still so many different issues plaguing the world, finding a place to start feels overwhelming sometimes. Rather than sitting here deciding how I am going to start or what I can do to start building a better world, I am just going to start. In order to build a better world I can do a few things:
Pay attention to where I spend my money.
Pay attention to where I spend my time.
Pay attention to where I spend my energy.
All of these on their own hold a lot of power because most businesses, people, and activities want you to give them those three things. When we combine them all, it can have a major impact because those factors can help a business succeed or fail depending on how many people join a movement. Some might say, "Well, you can't make such an impact all by yourself". That statement I would say is correct but, the idea behind it is that I won't be doing it myself. I hope that other people chose to stand alongside me and send a message to certain businesses, the government, organizations, and more.
A major example of how I and many others found ways to help build a better world can be seen in the 2020 election. A vote, a singular vote, can feel abundantly small but, that vote can have the power to change the outcome. That vote can place a more fit candidate in office that would help build a better tomorrow. In addition to that, people who went out and canvassed for President Biden and Vice President Harris helped create this reality. People spent their time, energy, and money to make this happen and a result is a slightly better world today than it was 4 months ago.
A small example in my personal life is seen through my diet. I have now been a vegetarian for 3.5 years and I made the decision to go meatless for the environment and animal cruelty. I recognize I have the privilege to make this choice. I am able to get fresh produce, meat alternatives, and create a balanced diet. I do this for the environment and I know one person can make an impact. If a lot of individuals take a stand and do this more accessible vegetarian foods will be seen. Today, many fast-food restaurants have responded by offering a meatless option due to the growing amount of vegetarians. I am a vegetarian now for the environment and to help build a better world. This is a prime example of how businesses will respond if they see there is money in it. They will pivot to stay up with the trends and be a viable business to everyone. I know this decision can be challenging and people can't imagine life without meat. Does meat taste good? Yes, that is why so many people eat it. Can everyone go vegetarian? No, many people have dietary restrictions but, the people that can afford to should at least consider eating less meat. Is it changing right now? No, but there is the potential for it to change. Remember, we all don't have to do it perfectly, we all have to do it imperfectly. If you are interested, please watch this YouTube video that explains why going vegetarian/vegan should be heavily considered.
Just because there are big businesses that have become deeply integrated into the lives of so many people doesn't mean I have to support them by giving them my business. I am going to start by refocusing on where I spend those three big things I mentioned earlier: my time, my money, and my energy. I know many people are trying to do the same and I know many people will also join this growing movement.
Every now and then I will check in with myself by asking, "Is what you are doing aligning with your values?" If my response is "no", I will rethink, rework, and relearn. Like I said in my blog post "Is 2020 to Blame", "Keep in mind, the fight for a better world is a lifetime commitment and I am committed to a lifelong fight. I encourage people to join me in this endeavor." Don't strain yourself but, do as much as you can do and do it thoughtfully. I know a better world is right around the corner. If you ever need a reminder, we build a better world one vote or action at a time.