Never Losing Sight of the Big Picture

In my previous post, I described my parents and their proclivity to rant. Their rants often exposed the ills of humanity: unfairness, selfishness and greed. In my father's blog post on May Day, he writes about the middle class being financially ruined by a select few, and he finishes with this diatribe,

If I were King, I'd line them up and shoot them and charge them for the ammunition to do it.

(Please bear in mind that my father has a dark sense of humour. He is not serious.)

Unfortunately, my parents' rants, which always had some basis in truth, never translated into any concrete action. Although I understand that this was my parents' method for teaching us values, as a child, I saw this as little more than wasted energy--all talk, no action.

True, raising awareness is the first step towards change, but concrete action has to follow...Otherwise, it's pointless to rant in the first place. I'm more interested in coming up with a plan, or the steps to take, to bring about some sort of transformation.

Yes, the plan and the various steps are important to bring about change, but as I discovered a few days ago, it's easy to lose sight of the big picture.

This weekend I went to the hardware store for materials to make seed bombs (see recipe here) with my daughter, and on my way home, I walked past my guerrilla gardening plot. Much to my chagrin, I noticed that someone had already cleared the debris and planted flowers. In addition, I noticed that a row of expensive seedlings had been planted alongside the sidewalk for a fair distance down the street.

Just then, I saw Mariette, the former Olympian handball player who had lent us a hand getting our guerrilla project started last year. She is the neighbouring condo association's paid gardener. I stopped to chat with her, still slightly taken aback by losing my gardening plot.

She told me that I was responsible for getting the condo association involved in beautifying the street. She also added that she had the property owner's permission to garden, something I never had.

Anyway, I was miffed about losing my spot until I realized that my ultimate goal, or the big picture, was to beautify our dirty, industrial, unloved street. And now, a condo association was actually paying for flowers, seedlings and a professional landscaper to reach that goal. So, although I initially felt like I had been hip-checked by the Olympian and her condo association, other people were getting involved, and the entire street would reap the benefits.

Besides, there are lots of unloved plots in our area. I'm sure I'll find another one. Like the one below:


Anonymous | May 6, 2009 at 8:57 AM

that's a great story. I try not to complain about the state of the world because I am way too lazy to do anything about it ;)
Thank god everyone is not as lazy as me!

Heather | May 6, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Hey thanks for coming by! Most people I think would like to, but then life gets in the way. I have to say that part of me is a frustrated gardener.

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