Friday, January 23, 2009

Making small change OR you can nickel & dime your way to better karma

I confess I did not watch the inauguration; I was too afraid I would be watching the man get gunned down. I have had trouble with live television news broadcasts since I turned on CNN one September morning to catch up while I ate my oatmeal & well you probably know where this is going. I spent the rest of that day taking messages for other consultants & helping the Village of Northbrook, IL get their fixed asset tracking system up & running. It was not an emergency exactly, but it made their day better & sure as hell beat watching the tv.

After the inauguration was over I called my mom (about something else entirely) & she said how much she missed Molly Ivins & wished she could read one more column. A agreed he would have loved to read that column, too. Other than that (& the red-carpetifying of the festivities) I have not thought much about Inauguration Day. I take that back, I did watch the piece about reswearing in of Obama on the BBC. Apparently, Edwards screwed up the oath & the White House was jumpy enough not to want take any chances.

Now is the return to normal life & thinking about making small changes. I do already volunteer a day or so a week. By volunteer I mean doing something that does not benefit either me or people just like me OR does make a tangible change for the better: spending 40+ hours chairing the workshop committee for a local quilt guild does not constitute volunteer work in my book, working one shift in a homeless shelter does. I have done both & the first just does not cut it in the karma department, at least not for me.

Still, I also know that it is not just about the hours. I am certain I am healthier when I am not just working eating, working, sleeping, eating working, eating, sleeping etc. There is something too much like the hamster on a wheel if I do not stop & take time to give someone else a boost.

So I have begun collecting the ways people have been trying to honor MLK Day & the new president & I am pleased that some of what began as niche one-shot thngs, have grown:

Knitters for Obama, looks will continue to grow; the group on Ravelry was founded in November 2007 & I am optimistic that this is not going to go away anytime soon.

Another has been around a long, long, long time: Project Linus. I have lost count of how many quilts I have made for charity. Even here, in our small corner of the world we have an active chapter.

Both of these & many other would be happy to accept your one-time project or your continued support or anything in between.

A big change would be to give all my earthly goods to the poor & go live with the homeless. I know this idea gets a lot of press (both of the positive & negative variety), but I prefer small change, myself. You can nickel & dime yourself to better karma. Get past your differences & check it out.

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