The rogue or thief is one of the standard playable character classes in most editions of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. A rogue is a versatile character, capable of sneaky combat and nimble tricks.
So there are times when the current state of the world in politics, corporate hegemony and the biggest existential threat our world has ever known -- climate change -- get me so angry and freaked out that I just want to run into the streets and scream at everyone. Which would be super weird because everything around me just rolls along as usual. I suppose if I turned off the news, stopped reading books and articles, I could just nestle in and pretend these issues have gone away.
But of course, they haven't.
And so, as I frantically try to figure out what I have to offer to this fight, it occurs to me again that there is a very subversive way to live our lives that can truly 'stick it to the [corporate] man'.
Now, for most of my life, I've had this frustration while watching movies: A car/truck/train is barreling down a road/track chasing someone who is running for their life. They are running flat out in front of this terror. And all I can think is --
"For the love of God, jump off the road!"
That one person is not going to be able to either: a. Outrun that vehicle or b. Turn around and stop it.
So here is my challenge to everyone who sees what is happening:
Get off the road!
Now I realize that what I'm about to say is really nothing all that new [with the exception of eating animals -- environmentalists seem slow to pick up on that one], but here is where I would suggest it is still important enough to put into bullet form: the changes we need to make are not little pretty changes that make us feel good. These changes must be profound and deep. But before that scares anyone away, consider this: we get to forge a new and better way of living that is less dependent on stuff and potentially much more satisfying. So here are my bullet points:
If everyone that could stopped driving and took public transit, demand for oil would drop. And demand for better public transit would lead to better public transit!
If everyone stopped eating animals and their by-products, demand for the cruel and environmentally devastating animal 'agriculture' would drop.
If everyone stopped using plastic, demand for plastic would drop.
If everyone stopped buying so much cheap, useless and essentially disposable crap, demand for that crap would drop.
No government or overseeing trade organization can force you to drive, eat animals, or buy something you don't want to buy.
Instead, how about we:
Ride a bike, walk, take public transit. And yes, support a taxi driver when the other methods won't work.
Grow a garden, buy local produce, eat plant-based [it's cheaper and healthier too!]
Find more beautiful ways to store our lunches, cover our left-overs, sip on our drinks, furnish our homes and kitchens. Forego single use plastics -- they're blah anyways.
Spend less on cheap, disposable stuff, and more on quality goods and actual experiences. Buy local, buy carefully, buy only what you deem beautiful and/or useful in your life. Minimalism is a powerful trend that could really have an impact on our wallets and our psyches, and it has as many different versions as people who adopt it. You don't have to live in a stark white home with one set of clothing to embrace the mindset of minimalism.
Buy used. Second hand finds are the best!
Compost plant-based left-overs. Use the compost in the garden.