I like to write. I like to process. I am a self-identified introvert, and par for that course is processing quietly. I like to use this space to process all those daily inputs to make sense of them in the larger context of this world we call home.
But, what shapes those thoughts? Well, Some have called me a hippie, many would tag me as a liberal, and even some have called me a bleeding heart. I always knew I swung one way over another, but it’s been a slow process figuring out why I swing one way over another. It’s been a journey discovering why I choose to plant my flags where I plant them and why. The why is really the journey. Doesn’t it seem that we often do things, regularly, but it’s the real challenge explaining why we do said thing.
I grew up Catholic, and I consider myself Catholic. I was confirmed in the Catholic faith when I was a junior in high school. I’ve gone back and forth since, and returned about 3 years ago. This is important because it helped structure how I view the world. I, for example, think it is very important that we consider ourselves stewards of this earth, not just viewing it as under our domain. I believe that we have been entrusted with a special gift(s) on this earth, and it is part of our responsibility to take care of that (those) gift(s).
When I was in fifth grade, my Aunt Betsy gave me and my siblings a book, 50 Ways You Can Save the Earth, for Christmas. The next year, she gave me a small biography of Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela‘s then wife, who had remained his wife while he was imprisoned in South Africa.
My mother taught us kids to never judge someone unless we’ve walked a mile in their shoes. I grew up, again back to Catholicism, repeating in various ways the Beatitudes where we are reminded that we are no greater than the least among us.
So, years of conditioning for what? What has remained that I may hold onto and claim as my belief system? Tenants of the above. I’ve been labeled by my brother as a hippie-liberal. But, what does that mean for me?
The hippie part can come out with different things I’ve read which calls into question what we take for granted, even down to showering. The liberal part comes out in my desire to think of the least of us first. There are others who do this much better than I, but it is a part of my thoughts. Since my formative years, I have figured out what I want to study in school, which led me to Sustainable Urban Development, a newer term for what Ernest Callenbach called a “stable state system” in his book Ecotopia. The idea is that we consider three basic categories of living in equal balance when considering development. That is, we take on equal playing fields the economy, the environment, and people. Additionally, we think of this in terms of both inter (within) and intra (without) generational approaches. I am reminded of a Proverbs verse which tells us to provide not only for our children, but our children’s children.
These ideas are often guiding thoughts or principles in the things I write and pontificate about here, in this blog forum. Please, leave me your comments discussing these ideas further!