Tag Archive for '100 Ways To Make The World A Better Place'

100 Ways to Make the World a Better Place #85: Love Life Today

If you were told, by a reputable scientist, that the world would end tonight, how would this news change the way you lived? Also, what would you do in this final hour?

proustian_thoughts1

Marcel Proust 1871 – 1922

In 1920s Paris, there was a publication called L’Intransigeant. It featured a section which posed big questions, relating to various topics. In 1922, a rather elaborate question was formulated. The premise being that a scientist has announced the world will end and that death will be the certain fate of hundreds of millions of people. The question read: “If this prediction were confirmed, what do you think would be its effects on people between the time when they acquired the aforementioned certainty and the moment of cataclysm? Finally, as far as you’re concerned, what would you do in this last hour?”

French novelist Marcel Proust (pictured above) sent in the following reply:

I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die as you say. Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies it – our life – hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly.

But let all this threaten to become impossible forever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah! If only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time, we won’t miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X, making a trip to India.

The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today. It would have been enough to think that we are humans, and that death may come this evening.

I fell upon this story while reading How Proust Can Change Your Life by one of my favourite authors, Alain de Botton. I think it’s a wonderful reminder to live for now, appreciate life, and chase your dreams. Proust longed for the Louvre, love and India, and died just four months after submitting this reply. I wonder what you long for.

April

How To Make The World A Better Place: #88 Rent Yourself a Plot and Grow Stuff

Hey SuperForesters.

The weekend before last, I took a one-hour plane ride  to Melbourne (from Sydney) and, like everyone else who visits, fell utterly in love. There’s so much to see and hear, and I’ve never encountered a more vibrant, lively city. While walking around St Kilda, I happened upon Veg Out community gardens.

compostFabulous, colourful, wonderful compost!

plot
A plot at Veg Out costs about AU$150 a year to lease.

greensOrganic, chemical-free greens!

philosophy1The philosophy. Note the final line “Gardening is an act of faith in the future”.
How wonderfully articulated is that?

I suppose what’s so magical about Veg Out is that it’s a place where friends, families and community groups can share seedlings, gardening tips and life stories. Even as a visitor, I felt such a great and positive energy there. This modest community garden reinforces what we’re hoping to achieve with SuperForest; to encourage everyone to work together, on little projects and giant ones. It also reminds us that growing our own food makes us more confident, self-sufficient, and wonderful human beings.

There’s a great article here about Lenny Pastro (below) who has held a plot at Veg Out for the last nine years.

lennyPhoto: Melanie Dove

Lenny says, “I always worked hard, so what am I going to do now? Sit in my flat and watch the television? I’d rather be out here in the garden, there’s always someone to talk to, something to do, I love it.”

Life’s a garden … dig it.
April

100 Ways To Make The World A Better Place: #91

makeothershapps

Last week, SuperForester Frida wrote us with her ace suggestion for this series: divvying up your week and showering those you love with love on a day specifically designated for them. Here it is:

“Everyday, choose someone who will be with you (almost) all day, and do everything to make that person happier. I use this system:

Mondays: Dad
Tuesdays: Mom
Wednesdays: Brother
Thursdays: Sister
Saturdays: Friends I’m going out with
Sundays: People I don’t know
Fridays are my favourite day of the week, so it’s for me.”

We think spreading love seven days a week is a wonderful way to make the world better. Thanks again, Frida.

100 Ways To Make The World A Better Place: #94

Sydney-siders will probably already be familiar with Reverse Garbage  a not-for-profit cooperative that takes industrial and commercial scraps and sells them to peeps like you and I. We can use these bits and pieces for arts, craft, education, home renovation etc. The real clencher is that less waste will go to landfill, which puts a big smile on Mama Earth’s beautiful face.

For my 19th birthday a few years back, my best mate picked up a big purple cylindrical tub from Reverse Garbage and filled it with cut up tissue and a bunch of presents. I later used it as a stand for my Casio keyboard, then a few years later as a storage bin for my netball trophies. I think it’s fun to see how many uses you can come up with for every random object you have. Do you, perhaps, have a few empty glass jars you can fill with homemade cookies and seal with pretty fabric and a piece of string? Voila! You’ve just re-birthed that jar into a totally brilliant gift.

Don’t lose it if you can re-use it.

Yours,
April

100 Ways To Make The World A Better Place: #95 Say G’day

This series will comprise a list of 100 cool sometimes quirky achievable things you can do to help make the world a better place.

Okay, okay, so G’day might not be the greeting of choice in your neck of the woods (cliche!), but you get the gist. I’m always utterly impressed with people/strangers/anyone really who “make the first move” so to speak, and say hello first. Sometimes, while standing in an elevator with one other human being, my train of thought goes something like this: “Say hi, say hi. Just say it you big wuss. Oh bugger, this is my floor”. My lesson? Don’t wait for others to be friendly, show them how it’s done. You will (I hope, most to all of the time) always be pleased that you did.

hello

Supa-fly pic from here!

Side note: During the composition of this post, my eyebrows have mysteriously begun to hurt. It feels as though they’re on fire. What does that even mean? Help!

Five minutes later: My bad. I was cutting up fresh chilli earlier and must have afterwards rubbed my fingers over my eyebrows (don’t ask), and this would explain the burning eyebrow sensation. By the way, I’m making chilli-broccoli spaghetti and it’s one of my faves. I’ll post the recipe up on the ‘morrow.

100 Ways To Make The World A Better Place: #96 Make Eyes With Others

This series will comprise a list of 100 cool sometimes quirky achievable things you can do to help make the world a better place.

During my lunch breaks, as I wander through the busy Sydney streets, I often cross paths with people handing out pamphlets, those collecting money for the sick, and homeless folks. What I’ve noticed about others (and myself) is that we tend to look the other way, and often pretend these peeps aren’t there. When I stop to think about it, this is distressing because I can’t think of a worse feeling than being ignored. Thus, my suggestion is this: should you come across someone who’s trying to sell something, asking for a donation or simply glancing your way, give them some steady eye contact and a flash of your smile. Perhaps you won’t always have five minutes or a handful of change to spare, but you do have unlimited smiles, so use ‘em!

smile

Terrific pic thanks to Wallout.

PS: I’m really enjoying working on this series as it has given me this incessant hunger for finding new ways to make things better.
PPS: If you have any suggestions for the list, feel free to drop us a line at superforestnyc{at}gmail{dot}com

100 Ways To Make The World A Better Place: #99 Say Happy Birthday In A New Way

This series will comprise a list of 100 cool – sometimes quirky – achievable things you can do to help make the world a better place. And if you think that sounds like a daunting endeavour, remember that every tree began with one small seed. That’s right … be the seed.

Some people fear getting older. They even hide away on these special occasions in fear of the attention garnered by their escalating number. Here’s an idea thought up by my co-workers and I. Instead of wishing your friend/colleague a “happy 28th birthday!”, try “Congratulations on your 28th revolution of the sun! You’ve travelled around the fiery sphere a whole 28 times now! You rock!”.

sungirl

Pic thanks to allnaturalme.com

I hope it earns you a smile.

100 Ways To Make The World A Better Place: #100 Take Yourself On A Date

This series will comprise a list of 100 cool – sometimes quirky – achievable things you can do to help make the world a better place. And if you think that sounds like a daunting endeavour, remember that every tree began with one small seed. That’s right … be the seed.

Got no plans for this evening? You do now! Clear your schedule and do something you love. Treat yourself to a movie, bake yourself some cookies, grab a new comic book, run a hot bath, or do whatever else it takes to make you smile. A very funky university lecturer of mine once said, “When you look after you, you’ll have more to give to others.” So be all you can, learn all you can, then share it with the world.

the-old-treeArt thanks to Christopheart.com