Thursday, December 17, 2009

Make A Difference

Does it come as an great surprise that the "leaders" of the world can not get it together to keep us all from killing ourselves? Just because they all decided to go to Copenhagen for a conference does not mean they went with any intention of actually doing anything.

I am quite sure that this woman's concern is genuine, I am just not sure it is concern about how to actually effect change in her country.

The problem is not politicians. They are just people we put in power so we don't have to think about anything. The problem is us. We allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by the problems of the world and then decide to do nothing because nothing we do can make a difference.

Wrong! Wrong thinking, wrong rationalizing. The biggest thing each of us can do is to not contribute to the problem. Every time we chose to do something for ourselves instead of taking the easy way out, we stop contributing to the problem.

yellow jacket
image by Cycleicious

Every time we reach out and blog about our world and what we see in it, we stop contributing to the problem. By increasing the knowledge and making connections we strengthen our ability to make things better.

Chain mixte party.
image by Meligrosa

Every time we decide to make something with our own hands we stop contributing to the problem. When we tap our own creativity and potential we realize we do not need as much as we thought. We find we are more than we thought we were.

Copenhagen Bicycle Traffic in Rush Hour
image courtesy of Mikael

When we know our history we stop contributing to the problem. We see that the answers have always been there if we had just bothered to pay attention. When we look to our past and accept all it has to offer us, good and bad, we can move on with doing the right thing now.

here we are now
another Meli pic

When we celebrate what we do we stop contributing to the problem. When we stop long enough to see and appreciate what we have done so far it gives us the energy to keep going.

Christmas Tree Hauling by Bike-- Family Shot
image by Full Hands

When we teach our children to live more lightly on the planet we stop contributing to the problem. What we teach them now will determine how they live for the rest of their lives. Do we teach them helplessness or do we teach them self sufficiency? Do we teach them fear or how to love the world they live in?

never too close for comfort
photo by Ramona

Will we learn to share the road? Not just with bicycles and cars, but with each other? Will we learn that all of us live on the Earth and that we are all equal in the eyes of the Universe? When we do we will stop contributing to the problem.

The Road
image by Lee Sie

When we see the horizon is long and the sky is blue and the road is open we stop contributing to the problem. Loving the world for what is is the first step to no longer being a part of the problem.

Don't wait for politicians to do the right thing. Ride your bike. It really does make a difference. Every time you do it.


  1. Could not be said any better; Thank You

  2. love this adrienne. especially after waking up these past couple of weeks listening to the news about copenhagen, but not really hearing anything of substance. per usual. and then today's news of promising to contribute to the $100 billion a year to the global climate fund...

    and then i read this post, and suddenly i feel inspired.

  3. Adrienne,
    That was very eloquent and beautiful. It puts to mind
    an old Warren Zevon song 'Mohamid's Radio'. which has the refrain (don't it make you want to rock and roll all night long?)
    It's hard not to feel useless sometimes. You are so right though that it's just a state of mind and that everything positive you do has a positive effect.
    Jon C.

  4. Nicely put. I'd just like to add how important it is to vote! Vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote. Did I mention voting?

    Here in Detroit the status quo continues due to poor showings at the polls. Less than 20% votes.

    Do the right thing yourself and elect people who feel the same way!

  5. All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.


  6. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

    --The Deceleration of Independence

    I think they meant that the majority should choose and control the direction of the elected officials, no? By living the way we desire (bikes! sustainability! environment!) and choosing those who support and defend that life, we become the majority and thus control our destiny.

  7. Just when I despair that there is no way out of this mess we find ouselves in, your post pops up. Thanks, Adrienne! Well thought out and VERY well said. It's 16 degreesF here, but I took my bike for groceries tonight. Did it make a difference? It did to me!

    Best, Jim

  8. Bob & Cali- thank you!

    Jon- I miss Warren : (

    Anon 8:31- Agreed. Vote for what you believe in. Then live it yourself.

    KFG- Nothing like a little Thoreau to class up a joint : )

    Jim- No despair! Errol Flynn used to say "the worse things are the better I try to look". He knew that nothing could get better unless he showed the world it could by never giving in. So when you have a day of doubt, make sure you get on that bike!

  9. Lovely post.

    That first photo is powerful. Where are the other women? How about more women politicians?

  10. excellent post adrienne.
    "By increasing the knowledge and making connections we strengthen our ability to make things better." applies not only to bicycles, but to the future of our cities, and how we as citizens, want them to be like to sustain the quality of life <3

  11. Honored to be a part of this lovely post. Many thanks, Adrienne.