Every year, I try to instill some impacting changes in my family. My teenagers are impressionable, as all teenagers are at this stage, and I try to find a perfect opportunity to try to
brainwash teach them what truly matters in the world, in my own way.
Tools I use to inspire my family
I try to lead by example. I live simply and frugally. I try to live a less impacting life and show my family what that means. Being the mother and a wife, it’s easier to make decisions that affect my family and on my own terms. But there are times when I need to drive a point across, a little more effectively, without sounding like a broken record.
That’s when I turn to films and movies for help. Sadly, gone are the days when I can read my kids bed time stories as they are bigger than I am now. So watching films together and having discussions afterwards seem to work better.
I remember the first time I took them to see “Supersize Me” at a local theater. My, then, nine year daughter didn’t eat fries for months afterwards.
Then, three years ago, I got to pick a family movie Food Inc. after a Thanksgiving meal. I didn’t plan on watching the movie after overdosing them on Tryptophan but unfortunately, it just turned out that way. So, in between dozing on and off, they learned the dangers of GMO and Monsanto. Afterwards, my son questioned every time he had popcorn, if the kernels were GMO free.
And last year, we watched the Beavans family conquer Manhattan on bikes and do laundry in their bathtub with their feet.
Then, there was Annie Leonard’s thought provoking “The Story Of….” series. My daughter was aghast when she saw “The Story of Cosmetics” and wrote “How to choose make up for a teenager” in 9th grade when she found out how hard it was to buy non-toxic make up.
This year’s “red carpet” premiere event, à- la-mom, was “Gasland“. Now, my family doesn’t take their clean drinking water for granted and they think of natural gas with some reverence. But the most dramatic moment of the movie wasn’t seeing all those toxic brown water samples. It was when my hubby abruptly got up to sell shares of a money making stock because he learned what fracking was. Until the movie, he naively believed the company was a good bet for its aggressive innovations.
As sneaky as these methods might sound, they are effective tools in my efforts to open their eyes to what’s going on in this polluted world. My daily “demonstrations” and “lectures” don’t work as well without the support of these provocative films and videos. And I am grateful that they exist for me to use in any way I can to illustrate that these issues are real and they matter. Of course, there are many more films, books, workshops, and news stories that I can use to demonstrate my point. But for now, I use what works, for the time being.
But how do others inspire people?
Lynn Fang, one of Green Living Idea’s awesome writers, published an eBook called “Inspiring Change“. It’s a collection of how prominent bloggers like Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, David Quilty of The Good Human and twenty three conscious bloggers inspire change in people. Obviously, people have different beliefs and ways in which they like to inspire others. But this collection of quotes from those who have been known to be the change makers and “movers and shakers” in empowering people gives you an idea of how you can be inspirational too.
Express yourself authentically, with no strings attached
Be a mentor and guide
Help other think and fend for themselves
Learn from others
Explain your beliefs in a positive manner
Be the change you wish to see
Lead by example
Walk the talk
Focus on positive benefits
Express passion: Passion kindles passion
~from Lynn Fang’s Inspiring Change~
And as stated in one of the quotes above, if you are true to the change that you are trying to instill in others, you have to “BE the change you wish to see”.
BE the inspiration
So, whether you are renewing your old green vows or starting a new one, you should always think about how you can inspire others to walk with you. You have to believe that even a small change can be just the inspiration we need. Remember the 1% in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement? It started as a small gathering but had a greater than expected impact around the world to make 2011 an unforgettable year!
So how are YOU planning to inspire change in others in 2012?
Better yet, are you going to be the inspiration that others will aspire to in 2012? Take a stance. Pick your passion. Be the example.
BE the inspiration!
With the goal of becoming the source of inspiration in 2012 and on behalf of Green Living Ideas…
we wish you and your family, an awe-spiring 2012!
Editor of Green Living Ideas
[Fireworks Image by hisgett via Flickr and all other images are from the press materials of individual sites]