This post is a follow-up post from A Very Very Un-Birthday in the Making...
What I love about this whole birthday thing, perhaps more than anything else about it, is believing that people have been thinking about what would make a real difference in Kaya's world. If nothing else comes of it, I know that this, in itself, makes a real difference...
I'm eager for more, however, and I'm VERY driven to inspire you!
So, in response to our Evite and recent blog post about Kaya's birthday celebration, we heard from a number of people about their ideas for our Global Wish List. Here's how the List reads thus far (feel free to continue to add your ideas in the Comments section):
The Staton-inspired Global Wish List for 2011
--increased use of "alternative" forms of transportation
--improved train systems in the U.S.
--greater or total use of renewable energy including solar, wind and micro-hydro
--the beauty, unity, and the sacredness of all life restored
--rekindled connections, being of generous spirit, and cultivation a peaceful heart
--the promotion of girls’ education, literacy and peace
--social skills fostered in our age of technology
--preservation of more of Oregon's forests
--increased time spent with each other face to face, voice to voice
--peace between Jews and Arabs in Israel (through development of bilingual and multi-cultural schools)
--increased reduction, recycling and re-use of plastics
--even more trees
--eating more healthfully for yourself and the earth (organically/locally)
--a world where people authentically connect, are seen, and are loved. it's about being with each other and really being present.
--presence and connection to the natural world
--peace created by being peace, love created by being love, balance created by being balance
--U.S. education a higher priority than blowing people up in foreign countries
--health care for everybody
--constant availability of non-GMO food to nourish our bodies
--an international 'socio-ecological score' (SES), similar to a credit score, where people are evaluated on their environmental impact and sociological contribution to society at large
So, as you may know, for Kaya's 2nd birthday, my gift is to inspire others to make a real difference in her world. Many of you have been thinking, as evidenced by the above ideas, about WHAT would make a difference. Others of you may feel more overwhelmed by the request, wondering where or how you'd even begin.
So now for the HOW.
Imagine, for a moment, the power and influence that exists in ALL of the people that are, have or could read this posting. Really imagine. I think, for example, of a friend of mine who is wanting to start a reading program to improve the literacy of children nationwide. I am thinking of another friend who spends her time running an organization that provides support to sexually abused women. In smaller ways, too, many of us have an impact that we rarely know is felt by others, even if only through the smile that we give as we walk down the street.
What if ALL of those people (yourself included!), were to accept my invitation to make a real difference in Kaya's world?!
I see three areas in which you could make a commitment, if you were so inspired and dedicated.
The first area is the most inspirational and exciting for me:
Think of an area where your passions lie in regards to making a difference in the world. This is the concept I've been asking some of you to think about to add to our Global Wish List. For me, I think it would make a big difference if people were inspired to travel more often in ways other than by car. I'm also completely inspired by the idea of rekindling connections and cultivating a peaceful spirit.
Within this area of passion (positive or negative!), think of ONE action (or set of actions) that you'd be willing to take on that you could realistically fit into your life and have 'completed' by April 22, 3 months into Kaya's 3rd year. It might be something that you'd only do once, like plant a tree, or maybe it would be something on-going, like eating organic for one week a month. From my example above, I might institute a carless day in our family one day a week, or (re-)connect with one person a week that I'd love to have (back) in my life. For some of you, with dreams in faraway places like India and Iran, your commitment might look like research that you'd be willing to do to find out about what you could do locally to make a difference. Or it might look like a donation to the organization of your dreams.
Whatever your "ACTION" would be, my request is that you take on completing the commitment within 3 months--with this request, I'm hoping to avoid overwhelm and procrastination and thus increase the likelihood of us making a real difference.
The other aspect of this whole concept that really gets me excited is the sharing part. I'm repeatedly bumping into experiences in life that remind me of the power in sharing ones dreams. I also love the idea of Kaya being able to look back and really know what commitments people made to make a real difference in her world--I'm sure that would inspire her down the road, too! So, my request is that, along with committing to ONE action, you take a photo of yourself (and any others that may be involved) completing or participating in what you've committed to doing. Along with your photo would be a short blurb that you'd write for Kaya, about the commitment that you made and why you chose the action that you did.
The second option:
So, it's clear to me that the above ideas, while completely exciting and wonderful to some, may be just WAY to much for others. I'd love it if everyone were willing to at least consider taking some action, as outlined above, that they weren't planning on taking otherwise. AND I also completely accept that what is, simply is.
Thus, I thought of this idea.
We are going to be planting 2 trees in front of our house for each of Kaya's two years of life. We have chosen a Flame Maple, to represent the fire in her spirit, and a Korean Maple, as a symbol of multicultural understanding. We will be planting them on February 19th, with the help of Friends of Trees and their Cathedral Park neighborhood planting. We would LOVE it if you could join us, not only to plant trees in our neighborhood that day, but to help create a ceremony around planting Kaya's two trees in front of our house.
The third option:
And for those of you who are wanting to do SOMEthing but simply can't take on any more commitments, we'd love it if you'd join in with us on a group donation to Friends of Trees. Friends of Trees is a local, Portland organization dedicated to restoring public natural areas and green spaces between freeways and neighborhoods. Since 1989, they have planted more than 400,000 trees and native plants! On our Wish List, we noticed that a number of people mentioned a wish that included trees...we thought a donation to Friends of Trees, as well as a tree planting, would be the perfect way to honor those wishes and help preserve a world of green for our growing daughter!
So, now what?
If you are clear on the commitment that you are ready to take on, then we'd love it if you'd share it with us by January 22. In this way, we can benefit from your inspiration, and spread the wealth! I'd truly love it if you'd share it in the comments section below--that would allow others to find inspiration from your idea. It also gives you the opportunity to come back to it later if you lose focus. It would also be great to read or hear about your commitment if you are able and willing to join us on Jan. 22nd for our face-to-face celebration! (If you're interested in coming and you haven't received an invitation, please let me know!)
If you are clear that you want to take something on but are still in the process of formulating, I'd encourage you to talk to as many people as possible as you can in the next week about what you're wanting to create. Possibilities will open up out of that action alone. Remember, as well, that I'm a resource, not the one with the whip. =) In the past, I've tended to be a "do-er"...AND someone who has gotten overwhelmed easily. I have a history of being able to chunk things down. I'm also taking a course over the next three months dealing with exactly THIS. I would love it if you bounced ideas off me! I'd also encourage you to nail down an idea in the next week, if you can...in part because now is when the ball is rolling, and there's more energy when it's already in motion. However, if you don't come up with an idea by then, forge ahead with your excitement. An idea will come, I'm sure, especially the more people you tell.
If you are unsure as to what to make of all this, and don't see yourself as making a commitment at all, I'd love it if you'd remain open to the possibility of inspiration. Maybe an opportunity will fall into your lap that you could take on that you might normally have avoided had it you not read about any of this!
I'm so excited!
So excited to think about the possibility of passion as the driving force behind the actions that you might take to make a real difference in our world!