Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Transformed Nonconformists

This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. Our planet teeters on the brink of atomic annihilation; dangerous passions of pride, hatred, and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless calvaries; and men do reverence before false gods of nationalism and materialism. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sometimes the Monday of a three-day weekend ends up being just another day filled with the regular errands that typically fill our Saturdays and Sundays. For some, sales provide a reason to hit the malls for some American-style holiday celebrating. I have many things to do today to get ready for the work week ahead, but I can't let the day go by without pausing to reflect on Martin Luther King's message as it applies to the environmental movement. Many more eloquent than me will surely make connections between MLK, the sad state of our nation today as we wage a seemingly endless and unnecessary war, and deteriorating social conditions in our own country and throughout the world.

Those of us gravely concerned with the state of our planet also have something to learn from Dr. King. For me, his focus on nonconformity provides a loud answer to questions about how to deal with a social and economic system based on plundering resources, economic consumption, and a disconnect from the earth. We can't stand by and accept the state of our communities and the planet as an unyielding truth with no room for change or improvement. We can't be helpless. We need to actively seek a different, better way of life right now even when it makes us stand apart from our neighbors and the existing societal norms. In time, the simple yet bold efforts of those who refuse to conform to an unjust, unsustainable way of life can force the norm to evolve. We have to believe that real change is possible, and we have to put aside our fears about stepping outside of our comfort zone for the greater good of all beings on our planet. In some way, today, I hope to refuse to conform to the status quo that perpetuates the lowest expectations about humanity's power. I want to be part of the nonconforming minority. It's my way of honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

4 Comments:

  • At 7:49 PM, Anonymous The Door Knob King said…

    Just a question about the statistics from a few days ago . . .

    You mentioned that your electricity usage increased dramatic in September when your daughter was born. I assume that you probably took maternity leave and maybe even had some family members visiting to meet the newest member of the family. If so, you not have become less green over the course of the year. Rather, you transferred your kilowattage from work to home while on leave and your family transferred it from their houses to your home.

    None of this should stop your efforts to be more green but perhaps it will ease your troubled soul . . .

     
  • At 7:07 AM, Blogger lauren said…

    You are right that maternity leave had me home during the day and we had many visitors staying with us for awhile after The Bean's birth. Thanks for helping to make me feel a bit better! Now, I'm just on to getting that KWH number down before my next bill comes in and I have to post it for all to see...

     
  • At 11:26 PM, Blogger Norene said…

    Thanks for this beautiful and hopeful post yesterday, in the spirit of the holiday.

     
  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger SustainableGirl said…

    Lauren, I was so glad to see that you also appreciated how Martin Luther King Jr.'s message applies to the environmental movement; no surprise we had similar thoughts on this holiday! Thank you for sharing. And ... you've inspired T. and I to take a look at our household electricity usage and see how we measure up. One more thing - congratulations to The Bean and here's to lifetime of happy rolling!

     

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