Monday, July 2, 2007

Mahatma & Me

Yesterday, while lounging on my friend Katie Sherwin's couch, I decided to indulge myself a bit by picking up the remote and seeing what there was to see. As it turned out, "Ghandi" was on, and so, for the next 3 hours and 15 minutes, I indulged myself by learning again about the life of one rather tiny man, and his mission to cure the world of our violent tendencies.

I don't think I'd seen the film since it came out in '82 (yes, I was 7 but we were a progressive family and I went to a Quaker school, and Ben Kingsley even came to speak to all of us kids about the film and the man and why his message was so important), but let me tell you: it holds up even 25 years later. Maybe it's more important now, even, than it was then. Anyway, point is, I was so inspired, and as we headed out the door after my marathon movie session to meet another friend for drinks, I said to Jess, "I want to be more like Ghandi"--and I'm sure I'm hardly the first person to feel that way.

Usually when I have sentiments like these, they've flitted from my head in a few minutes time... but this was has stuck around, and I went to sleep last night and woke up this morning thinking about how I can direct my life towards goodness. And not only that, but decreased consumption. I don't know that I'll quite be able to start spinning my own cotton, a la the Mahatma, but I think there is certainly more I (and each one of us) can do to cut down on how much we are consuming and how much trash we are spitting out onto the earth. Whether we're choosing to fight that battle on the personal level (see fluorescent bulbs) or by pushing for legislative change, my guess is it'll be worth the effort--not only in terms of saving the earth, but in terms of saving our souls, too.

That's enough of my preaching for now... But meanwhile, for a thought provoking piece on the new boom in environmentalism and how not everything labeled "eco-friendly" is actually going to change the world, read Alex Williams's piece from yesterday's NYT.


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