Friday, October 16, 2009

Having faith in your actions

“If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” – St. Francis of Assisi

Sustainable living, living green or any other catchphrase of the week, in part, can be argued a part of living out your faith. After all, what is more appropriate to living your faith than caring for God’s creatures? (Which, in case you forgot, includes us.)

Yet, for as vocal of a person as I am about the little things in life, I’ve always struggled with the idea of pushing my values onto another person. The people who shoved politics or religion down others’ throats – the “my way or no way” types – were the ones I’d avoid the most. So not preaching loudly is (hopefully) what I’ve not practiced this many years.

I do believe actions speak louder than words. For as trite as a saying as that is, it’s true. I can tell you how plastic is choking the fish in the ocean – but I can far easier show you that it’s simple for you to do something about it, that it doesn’t take much time or resources to make a difference in these uneasy times.

Hopefully seeing our very small examples might rub off on you in some small way. After all, our family is living proof that even a one-year-old can grasp the most basic concepts of caring for the earth. Does he understand it all? No. Does he make an impact? I believe so.

I’ll be honest too, that I do hide behind my blog and in real life often have to hold my tongue. I tolerate the husband of a friend who truly thinks being green is a conspiracy. We simply agree to disagree. And there’s too little time in the world to nag a person for sending their kids out with a disposable milk container or single-serving bag of pretzels. Instead of worrying about the little details in life, I focus on the ways we can make small changes to make the biggest difference. That mostly ends up in slight tweaks in our lifestyle, rather than a overwhelming “event” that impacts our extended family.

Which leaves me once again with the words of St. Francis: "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

This post is part of the APLS October Carnival on "Proselytizing Green,” hosted this month at Greenhab. Check out the carnival posting on Oct. 19. Want to participate? E-mail greenhabgoods {at} gmail {dot} com.


*Mom's Best Bets said...

I like your blog and thoughts...

Anonymous said...

Great post. Thanks for participating this month!

Steph @ Greening Families said...

Great quotes! Thanks so much for sharing them - that last one was particularly helpful for my current life so is much appreciated!

Lisa said...

Being a Quaker I love this post and how you talk about God and being green. :)