Archive for November, 2008

Good in everyone.

I have to write about something that happened recently. A few weeks ago my nephew’s bike was stolen off his front lawn after being left out overnight. Not the most uncommon thing to have happen, and if it had happened here I would not be surprised in the slightest as I live in a big city and there are hundreds of people walking past my home daily. My sister, on the other hand, lives in the suburbs thousands of kilometers from here. Her town is not unlike many Canadian bedroom communities, experiencing rapid growth and transformation from a farm town into an urban stereotype of strip malls, housing developments and box store culture.

My sister was shocked and angered by the theft of her son’s bike, a birthday present and symbol of his achievement of age and status in the world of second grade. So outraged she wrote to the local paper, with the blame pointed squarely at the increase in population and the loss of the safe, small town, of years past.  She lamented the changes to her beloved city and being of modest means,  her son’s bike could not easily be replaced,  she pleaded to the thief to return her son’s bike.

The paper printed her letter and three days later a couple appeared on her doorstep, having read her story, they were moved to help. They handed her $200 and asked her to buy a new bike for her son! They insisted and said they wanted to restore her faith in people. The next day a new bike,( bought by someone else) appeared on her doorstep. She received many more offers and calls of help came from complete strangers.  She did graciously accept a new bike for her son.  She in turn donated the money given to her to the healthy snack program at the local elementary school.

Once again she wrote to her small town paper, with a decidedly different letter to the editor. She was humbled by the generosity and kindness she received.  She wrote a letter of thanks to the people of her town. She realized that when people are given a chance to, they can surprise you for the better sometimes, and if you ask you may indeed receive more then you expect!

Another day in paradise / making a difference

I wonder what difference one person can make.  I often feel overwhelmed when I read stories about what is actually going on in this world. I have kept this site mostly about issues that affect the environment, some resources links and some images and quotes that I like but I want to do more.

I am starting a new chapter at URBNgreen. how about URBN awakened? is that a word?

I want to share positive things that have happened and continue to happen. As you can see I recently posted a picture of the new president elect, Barack Obama. I feel like with his election to the position of the “most powerful man in the world” that there is change in the air and what better time then now to be a part of the change we want to happen.

What does the American political scene have to do with me?  a Canadian woman, well I don’t know yet. My grandmother always told me to stay out of politics. I think i always felt drawn to make a change or be a part of something bigger then I am.  Instead of the politics I have chosen to live a private life, and an alternate life to many people.

In many ways I am very typical. I am married and have two children.  I run my own business, volunteer, cook dinner for my family every night and generally live a typical domestic life.  On the surface it may appear that I am just like so many others out there, except there is a difference, at nine o’clock when the school bell rings my ten year old son is not running across the street to the school, but probably sitting in his pajamas reading a book or playing with his little sister, happily! 

We homeschool and have for five years.  I am my son’s teacher, but he is also my teacher. Our days are busy most of the time with classes, field trips and playdates.  We do have some days when we are working at the kitchen table with workbooks and researching at the library or online. Some days we are out at the beach or in the forest, or running errands.  The kids and I volunteer every week, this is an opportunity for us to give something back to the community and feel the satisfaction of  helping others.

We try to incorporate a  mind body connection in our daily routine, this may happen through sports, dance, karate, or Tai Chi, and even just by walking to our destinations. ( we don’t own a car).  We try to eat consciously by buying organic and locally grown food, eating low on the food chain, a mostly plant based diet, and recycling our leftovers to our worm composter. These are small choices, but they make a difference in our lives and consequently in the lives of others, ( the animals we are not eating, the farmers we support, the less waste to the landfill, not contributing to the auto industry. it actually seems like a lot when i look at this way )

We are by far not perfect and don’t claim to have all the answers to the mysteries of life, but we are living this life together and happily existing in this beautiful city and country.

I started this post talking about what one person can do to make a change in the world and surprisingly I talked only about what I am doing in my family. Maybe that was my point today. We have the power to choose each day how our lives will be. Each day is full of potential and we can choose to create what we want in this life.

I read a quote recently that I can not agree with more.

Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.   Dyer, Wayne


In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?
URBNgreen is committed to education and environmental stewardship. Our objective is share information about what people are doing locally and around the world to create a sustainable future.
delicate little plant in need of freedom. Einstein quote at