Purpose//

Small Steps Can Lead to Big Changes

If we want to see change, we have to be the change.


Every Friday morning at 7:05 I hear the sound of a leaf blower coming from my neighbor’s front yard. Like many of my neighbors, he stopped watering his lawn. Yet his gardener along with others up and down the street, pushes his lawnmower over a small patch of dead brown grass, spewing fumes, dust, dirt, and leaves, usually in front of the driveway next door.

This morning I thought about the significance of this recent suburban phenomenon. I wondered if it might have something to do with the difficulties that come with embracing change. Given our five year drought, leaf blowers should be a relic of the past. You’d think more people would replace their dead lawns or at least fire their gardeners. If nothing else it would be much more cost effective.

But change is uncomfortable. Sometimes its easier to hold onto the past, the well worn path that we know. The future is an unknown terrain and there isn’t always a map to follow. We all know people who stay in bad relationships because its familiar and more comfortable than leaving, or stay stuck in dead end jobs because its easier than taking a risk to find something better.

It’s not easy to change a pattern. Sometimes, when we make the decision to change, without even noticing, we often make choices that lead us right back to where we started. I know I’ve done it, thinking I was making a change when in fact I was following the same old pattern, just wearing a different color suit. It’s important to stay aware, present and diligent.

I’ve learned a lot from this past presidential election. At the beginning of the campaign, although I was vocal and I posted things on Facebook, I was also cautious. I didn’t want to share too much. (Albeit ‘too much’ on Facebook during an election is a relative term.) I was concerned about spewing more ‘fumes’ into the already heated debates among many of my friends and acquaintances.

As time progressed and things become more and more intense I became more and more vocal. I was unashamed about how I felt and what I stood for. I expressed myself and stood by what I believed and researched to be true. I became quite passionate.

Now, the election is over. Our new president is transitioning into The White House and we are now nose to nose with change. It’s shouting, “I am here!”. I, for one, plan on answering that call with action. It might be uncomfortable and a little bit messy, but I am committed to making a difference.

What I’m saying, even though it’s a cliché is if we want to see change, we have to be the change. We have to live it, embody it, stand up for it.

We don’t have to venture too far too fast, small steps will take us further than we think. I’ve come a long way in a relatively short time by taking an action, seeing where it leads and deciding which direction to go from there. Now I’m less cautious and further out of my comfort zone. So much so that on January 21st I will be joining the Women’s March on Washington in Los Angeles.

The organizers of the march write: “In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore.”

Image Credit: Dove Rose Grennan’s Facebook Event for the Women’s March on Washington, Los Angeles

There are other things that we can do. Congress is a responsive body. We can call our senators and congressmen or women and let our voices be heard.

There has been a surge in donations since the election. In response to the rise of hate crimes after the election more and more American’s are standing up against hate.

Here are a list of just some of the organizations that could use your support. If you can’t donate money, you can donate time.

And, if like me you’re concerned about the leaf blowers in your neighborhood, find out what you can do. I know that I’ll be calling my city’s code enforcement to see how I might be able to make a change and abolish leaf blowers in Torrance!


Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Originally published at medium.com

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