SOCIAL justice

Sustainability is very important to me but I wonder if it comes at a cost.

I listened to this awesome lecture by Charlotte Gerson, the healthy 88 year old with no doctor and no problems, thanks to her vegan diet. I totally agree with everything she talked about but it really made me wonder about a few things. Really, the only thing that goes against my beliefs are social outings. By that I mean, generally, I don’t eat out, except when with friends. I don’t use disposable cutlery/cups except at parties. I don’t go to malls, except with people. In her lecture, Charlotte says she NEVER goes out to restaurants. She NEVER does anything harmful to her body (putting bad processed substances in) and I can’t help but wonder if it is becasue she is old and doesn’t have to follow social conduct as much.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with people, I just wonder if we could all be happy and healthy together without harming the planet. Can we fight for social justice and be sociable?

Are you? Or do I think you are?

light trails

Earlier this year in a meeting with one of my mentors at SFU I realized that one way I can communicate (and love) others better is by explaining myself – and by that I mean this. I can be a very inquisitive creature. Some call it “questioning”.. it’s even at the centre of my manifesto (question everything). Often I am just curious, but sometimes my ego gets in the way and I am trying to make a point. Usually in these cases I am not understanding and fully listening to the person talking… but sometimes people might assume that is what I am doing even when my intentions are purely focused on learning and understanding. Either way, the point is, by prefacing my intentions with context (why am I asking this) I can be clearer for my others, and when my ego gets in the way – myself.

Recently I learned that there is another way I can better love and communicate with others:

I was talking with this girl who was mentioning how she was not very good with words and was not very articulate. I immediately was surprised and told her that was was, in fact, quite articulate. Someone jokingly said that of course I know her better than she knows herself. I was so surprised, I never realized that my act of faith and goodwill might be misinterpreted and offending like that. I didn’t mean that I knew her better than she knew herself. Though perhaps I was discovering her more than she was discovering herself (opening up  to limitless possibilities). I quickly rephrased my comment and acknowledgement to state that I THOUGHT she was very articulate. I wonder which has more power:

  • I think you are _____ OR
  • You are _______

I think the first option leaves less room for the mis-interpretation I described, however the second is more affirming – it creates someone to be something. It is definitive.

Now I am remembering my experience at the PostSecret LIVE event last year. I was given a book by Frank Warren that said “the world needs your voice” inside. It has become quite my self-fulfilling prophecy. What if it had said “i think the world needs your voice”. I wonder what the difference would be.

In contrast sometimes I myself put myself down – mostly by accident or unintentionally when speaking. I wish others would call me on this and acknowledge me. I think often myself and other do it unintentionally – but it does make a difference. Or… i think it makes a difference : P

YOU ARE INFINITE. I THINK YOU ARE INFINITE : )

PS: some background on this practice of acknowledgement can be found:

Poem/Song: Won’t you be my friend?

Won’t you be my friend?

I met so many cool people at a potluck party last night! They inspired me! Life inspires me! I started singing this in my kitchen and then wrote and recorded it all in the span of about half an hour! Wham bam – boy am I fast today!

CAPO 3

C G

I just think that you’re so cool

Em G

but I don’t even know you

C G

I just like things you’re into

Em G

and you care the way I do

 

Em

you’re so sweet

G

and you’re so kind

Em

I would love

G

to see you all the time

 

Em

its clear you care

G

your love is there

Em

for every creature

G

 

Em

it’s there in the

G

clothes you wear

 

Em

and the things you

G

give your time to

 

Em G

may this song remind you

 

(repeat C G Em G)

I just think that you’re so cool

but I don’t even know you

I just like things you’re into

and you care the way I do

won’t you be my friend?

Best Slideshow Song Ever

I think I like everything about this song. I like that he plays it to her and she is sort of sleeping. I like the lyrics. I like how it is just a voice and a guitar (all one really needs in life somtimes). I like that is is simple. And I like that it makes for a good slideshow song, and helped me realize what an awesome past few semesters i’ve had. I am so glad to have such awesome friends and I am so proud of myself for fulfilling so many of my goals.

Cheers : )

Perfect Timing

Sometimes I have perfect timing. Arriving on the sky train platform just as the train arrives, bumping into someone in a strange and random place, JUST catching the bus… I could go on.

Yesterday I experienced amazing timing. I was on my way to the final awards presentation for the Global Agents Micro Credit Challenge, an event which I have been promoting extensively as part of my LEAD program team project. They had asked me to make a video/slideshow compilation of the project so as I took the sky train to the Global Agents HQ I edited some photos and videos together. My laptop battery was at 20% so I tried to be really efficient. I finished the project and then exported the final video with 8% battery remaining. I had my fingers crossed as I exported the video. With 1% battery remaining I transferred the video to my flash drive, ejected the flash drive and closed my laptop to avoid losing everything I had open. *phewf* OH, and this all happened just as I arrived at my sky train stop! As I was walking to the awards presentation I bumped into my friends Diana and Justin from IATSU! They had just come from a conference our Faculty put on (which I missed out on but wanted to attend). Perfect! I arrived at the awards event on time and really enjoyed seeing all of the creative ideas the teams came up with.  Check out all the photos from the event here!

now… GO HAVE YOURSELF AN ADVENTURE : )

How To Be Alone

How To Be Alone.

This is one of those quirky, beautiful, lovely things. Like Juno only shorter! haha.

This year i’ve spent a lot of time alone and really think i’ve learned to be okay with that. I’m turning 19 and i’ve never been on a proper date or in a relationship and that is alright. I look at some unhappy people in unhappy relationships and I am grateful that I have just myself to worry about.

Even with friends though… My friends have changed a great deal recently and are continuing to do so. High school has ended and university is still just beginning for me. People are moving away and growing apart. Change is unavoidable and unrelenting. “It’s all for the best” as a wise musical once said (Godspell FTW).

My Mom recently commented on how much time I have been spending at home and to be honest I don’t think it has been an outragious amount, validating concern. Have I become a hermit without realizing it? And if this doesn’t bother me is that worrysome?

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation on top of a rooftop in Vancouver. It was a beautiful day and the whole thing felt something like an honest, raw, offbeat short film. This girl who came here for school mentioned how sometimes she doesn’t have many friends. I was so grateful for that statement. I think in life, from my experience, there are busy times with lots of people to see and places to be and then there are quiet times of solitude and reflection. Some people like to deny it or think less of others but really there is nothing wrong with being by yourself. No matter how many lovers and pals you acquire you still need to go to sleep on your own and wake up with only you in your head. I sometimes feel I have to justify going places by myself. “Oh, I’m here alone because…” What should it matter if I have come alone? I am here now and we are conversing. That is all that matters… right? We all have some places we must go alone.

I think though, that there is something to be said for the people we meet in our alone places and the ones who pop up when no one else is around. I don’t know if that makes sense but this idea has been toying with me for some time now.

Maybe i’m all wrong. Isn’t one of the most important things in life to build community? To connect with others?

I suppose balance is the key. I’m really grateful that I have learned to be by myself and also to be with others. Really, “being” itself can be a challenge. I accept.

Journey Forth,

Jenni

The Grand BC Adventure Part III

The next day of our trip I thought I was sleeping in but I actual woke up feeling pretty rested at 9:30. After lunch we set out to visit my Dad’s friends Steve and Randy. They live in Glade, which is about 90 minutes away from Grand Forks. We had to take a ferry over to get to it. They were so welcoming and very accommodating. When we first got there we didn’t see them and they didn’t answer the door so we walked around back and I saw this view…

SO AMAZING! I was like wow, I never want to leave! For dinner we made a salad with stuff from the backyard that I got to help pick, so amazing! We got to talking about this nearby town Nelson that has lots of vegan cafes and whatnot. Randy showed me this book about Nelson and it had this beautiful poem in it.

My Symphony

To live content with small means.

To seek elegance rather than luxury,

and refinement rather than fashion.

To be worthy not respectable,

and wealthy not rich.

To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,

act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,

and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,

do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.

In a word, to let the spiritual,

unbidden and unconscious,

grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.

– by William Ellery Channing

For dinner everyone else (Steve, Randy, their neighbor who stopped by and my Dad) had some fancy glazed salmon but I had grilled pepper/green onion (MMMM) with dal and the salad I helped make. After we ate they took us to the local waterfall. The waterfall is where they get their drinking water from in Glade (it is non-chlorinated and non-fluorinated. I miss it already)

It was so nice to walk and be surrounded by nature. They were asking me about the music I listen to and I told them about Jason Mraz. He’s reaching even remote parts of the world now! hehe.

They were also telling me about how they met my Dad and how they tried to start this community called “Harmony Farmstead Co-operative”. Basically several families bought a piece of land and were going to live on it but then they had disagreements and it fell apart. It reminded me a bit of what SuperForest Jackson is trying to do right now at Zero One, but I think Zero One will be a major success!

My Saturday

Today I woke up and enjoyed a delicious orange! I had to look nice for the Theatrix AGM so I woke up a bit earlier than my body wanted to but it was a really nice day out which made up for that. I drove to the skytrain station to practice driving and didn’t kill anything *phew*. I thought I was going to be late but ended up being right on time as usual (I guess you always have perfect timing when you make your own time). I got to see some friends I hadn’t been with in a while which was really nice. Then the AGM began and I got to hear some lovely songs from my friends and make some side-notes about the way AGM’s are run hehe. I recieved the Cory Memorial Award along with two people I really love, Marquis and Adam (who was late, it was quite funny when his Mom took his award and stood into the photo with us hehe). Before RENT started there was some singing and some dancing (Will I? – the STOMP edition haha) which was fun. We learned RENT choreography for La Vie Boheme ( SOOO EXCITING) at rehearsal. I ate some pineapple and listened to some really fun line flubs at Little Women rehearsal (I’m stage managing). Then I went downtown to meet some friends at english bay. When I walked out of the skytrain terminal at Granville station a girl stopped me. She recognized me from a leadership conference I attended in grade 11 in Mission. I was so surprised and grateful that she remembered me. We were only together for a couple days (I have no idea who she was) but I must of done something that made an impact on her. It felt good to be memorable in an unexpected way. I walked to the beach and saw lots of good looking people on the way. It was beautiful outside. When I met up with my friend they were talking with these Mexican guys. There was a small jazzy band playing (COOL) and some guys with a guitar and rapping mic competing with them. It started to get cold and breezy so I started dancing to keep warm (I’ve been trying this mantra since 2010 started to try and combat my frequent shivers, if i’m cold then i’m not dancing or cuddling enough… it works to a certain degree). While I was dancing I felt this sharp pain. I thought someone threw a rock at me but actually it was seagull poop! I hear this is good luck haha. I’ve never been pooped on before but I suppose there is a first time for everything. Quite the end to a fun-filled afternoon.

Being a Weirdo in the Modern World

I sometimes feel that it is rude to force my beliefs on others. Just becasue I belive in certain things and chose to live a certain way doesn’t mean everyone should, right? I wouldn’t like it if a bunch of religious fundamentalists forced their belifes on me… but then I can’t see anything outside of my way of thought. To me there is no reason to not be vegan. There is no reason to buy bottled water. There is no alternative way to live. To someone else though, I am the religious fundamentalist. I am the crazy person. And what separates us really? Deep down we are all human. But just as I can’t see how joining the army is the right thing to do, many people can’t see how living an environmentally friendly life is right.

I’m trying to find a balance. My beliefs dictate that I should be sharing and spreading my knowledge, I suppose that’s what this blog is meant to achieve. After all, if nothing had spoken to me about these alternative lifestyle choices I wouldn’t know they exist. The point of individual change is to inspire and promote societal change. But then, what the best way to do that? Lecturing people about eating meat when out for dinner with friends just becomes a damper on a fun social outing. It’s hard to find the right way to communicate. Seeing someone accept a plastic bag at the store makes me want to scream out at them but of course that wouldn’t be polite or socially acceptable…

Why is this so hard? Because if it was easy it wouldn’t be worthwhile I suppose.

I’m making some more changes this week. With the summer semester starting i’m going to stop using public transit (so travel by bicycle and foot) and buy only local foods. Possibly other things too. It’s late and I need to contemplate what I want to implement in my life. I need to decide what I want to achieve.

My Hug Bucket

The vlogbrothers recently did a video about “Hug Buckets”. Basically,  A “Bucket List” is a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket (die) and a “Hug Bucket” is a list of people you want to hug before you kick the bucket. Hugs are great. I used to be really bad at giving hugs but I think through practice I am improving. Here are some lists i’ve made. Feel free to share yours!

My Hug Bucket:

Jackson Nash (of SuperForest.org)

Tricia Huffman (of iambeing.blogspot.com)

Jason Mraz

Someone who really needs a hug

Someone who has never been hugged

John and/or Hank Green (vlogbrothers)

Frank Warren (of PostSecret)

Hugs in the Bucket: Awesome hug(er)s!

William Beckett (from The Academy Is…)

Michael from the Vancouver Hug Squad

Edna Hoskins from Kerrisdale Senior Centre

The flirtatious old geezer, also from Kerrisdale Senior Centre

My high school yearbook advisor, when I was having a meltdown

My friend Zay

Friend, Nathan Kelly

The Theatrix Les Mis cast – The Runaway Hug! : P

“Jeffery” the awesome singer who was working at Disneyland when I went

Brendon Urie + Jon Walker from Panic! at the Disco (that was a really good night)

The cast of Theatix’s CATS 2006 (the time I hugged EVERYONE before the show)

All the kids that hugged me when I was pirate Captain Hook at the PNE

The drunken guy who called me “Captain Morgan” when I was pirate Captain Hook at the PNE x D

My Mommy (every night before bedtime : )

General Hugs: Who could say no to a loving squeeze from these folks…

Someone you have a crush on

A friend you have not seen in a long time

Family Members

Best Friends

A hug that comes when you’re having a bad day

A complete stranger

Hugs from Mascots

Group Hug!

*e-hug*