We are bombarded by negative news these days--credit crunch, climate challenge, and wars that seem never to end at the top of the list just now. If you are like me, some days I feel overwhelmed because the problems seem so large that my own efforts seem too small. I get discouraged. A friend that I met when we were both 16 sent me this story. I like the woman's example and took heart from it, so I asked his permission to share it with you all.
It is a good reminder that the simple things do make a difference. So March 15th, I'll be at home working in my veg patch and singing Happy Birthday to Frances Crowe.
WALK THE WALK:
CELEBRATE FRANCES CROWE’S 90TH BIRTHDAY BY NOT DRIVING ON SUNDAY MARCH 15
When friends and family suggested a party to celebrate her approaching 90th birthday, Frances Crowe had a better idea. Instead of legions of well-wishers driving from far and wide to celebrate her life, she asks everyone to stay put, slow down, enjoy where you are, and reflect on ways to diminish the impact our daily lives have on our wonderful planet.
Celebrate Frances’ 90th birthday and her lifelong commitment to peace, justice, and community by not driving on Sunday, March 15, 2009. If car travel is unavoidable on that day, seek out friends and neighbors to carpool and share the ride. If carpooling is impossible, choose another day during that week when you can refrain from driving.
Frances’ concern about the impact that our lifestyle has on the life of the planet has deepened in recent years. Our dependence on oil has entangled us in war, conflict, and questionable alliances. The pollution from our highways, power plants, industry, and industrialized agriculture has disrupted the ecosystems on which we depend.
When faced with global warming, rampant militarism, and growing instability, Frances has sought ways to simplify her life and shrink her ecological footprint. You may have seen her walking around town--a small woman with a big backpack, joined her in the vigil against the Iraqi war, shared a meal of locally grown food, or felt challenged by the difficult questions that she asks. From offering draft counseling to hundreds of young men during the Vietnam war [note: including Sharon's friend who sent me this story], to organizing against nuclear weapons, to opening the regional office of the American Friends Service Committee, to working against apartheid, to ensuring local access to Democracy Now! and other important media, Frances has been an inspiring example of living out one’s principles. Frances has been ahead of the curve in her thinking and her actions for decades. She walks the walk--quite literally!
Grant this extraordinary woman her birthday wish: DON’T DRIVE ON MARCH 15th. Perhaps this single day will lead you to gradually decrease your driving and increase your attention to the many ways you can live more sustainably. Please help to spread the word about Frances’ birthday and
her birthday wish.
Labels: carbon footprint, Frances Crowe, simpler living, sustainability