Eco-Inspiration 3

Wednesdays are insanity for me this quarter.  It’s those truly crazy days when I start to wondering, “Why am I doing this again?”  Those are also days when I forget my reusable coffee mug, end up buying lunch at work,  and decide not to go the the gym.  Wow, what a bad combo, but the perfect ingredients for a bad attitude!  It’s for just those sorts of days that I have assembled my little folder of Eco-Inspiration which I am slowly sharing with you guys (if you’re new, check here and here for more inspiring stuff!).  

When you are having a rough day, take a short break to get some perspective and get inspired.  When you come back, reflect on your actions.  Maybe your goal was to remember your reusable mug everyday this week, but you got busy and forgot on Wednesday.  Did you know lots of studies say it takes 30 days to form a new habit?  Don’t be so hard on yourself, but do get back on the horse.  Your 30 days starts again tomorrow, and you have nearly unlimited chances to get it right!  Remember, every time you do remember and adhere to your small environmental goals, you add on to all your previous actions.  In a month, if you compare your efforts to what would happen if you made no effort you will start to actually see a difference!  Thus, in honor of Wednesdays and sticking to our goals, I offer you this week’s Eco-inspiration.  This is my all time go to if I’m having a bad day.  I take the last line quite literally and apply it to each new day.  Practice resurrection. 

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front*

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,

vacation with pay. Want more

of everything ready-made. Be afraid

to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.

Not even your future will be a mystery

any more. Your mind will be punched in a card

and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something

they will call you. When they want you

to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something

that won’t compute. Love the Lord.

Love the world. Work for nothing.

Take all that you have and be poor.

Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace

the flag. Hope to live in that free

republic for which it stands.

Give your approval to all you cannot

understand. Praise ignorance, for what man

has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.

Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.

Say that your main crop is the forest

that you did not plant,

that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested

when they have rotted into the mold.

Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus

that will build under the trees

every thousand years.

Listen to carrion – put your ear

close, and hear the faint chattering

of the songs that are to come.

Expect the end of the world. Laugh.

Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful

though you have considered all the facts.

So long as women do not go cheap

for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy

a woman satisfied to bear a child?

Will this disturb the sleep

of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.

Lie down in the shade. Rest your head

in her lap. Swear allegiance

to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos

can predict the motions of your mind,

lose it. Leave it as a sign

to mark the false trail, the way

you didn’t go. Be like the fox

who makes more tracks than necessary,

some in the wrong direction.

Practice resurrection.

Last Word:  This poem always gets me going and excited again.  Don’t be discouraged if you get off track because of your crazy life, or maybe because other people are getting you down.  Reflect on the purpose of your choices, and maybe write your very own Manifesto to read and reflect on when things get tough.  
What do you think?  What really peps you up?  Poetry?  Pictures?  Have you ever though about writing your own Manifesto to read in times of stress or frustration?  I would love to know about it. 
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” from The Country of Marriage, copyright © 1973 by Wendell Berry   *Emphasis is mine.
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