Walking Lightly

A blog by Estelle D

Sometimes I think I must be getting old and then I wonder, Is it me? Or has the world truly gone mad? Straight up, let me say that I believe in young people. One cannot work as a secondary school teacher without believing in young people. I have taught students way smarter than I will ever be and I believe these young people will hold solutions to current issues and world problems, many of them created by the generations which have gone before them. As a grandparent, I understand how vitally important it is to never rob young people of hope in their future world and I determine not to become and old grumble bum moaning about the world’s problems and how superior it was was back in the good old days of my youth.

So today I read with interest the article in the Sunday paper about the 20 year old university drop out who has become the face of “Extinction Rebellion” and the major demonstration to be held on August 6th, Rebellion Day. This young man is obviously very smart and I don’t want to say too much as you can do some research and find out all about “Extinction Rebellion” I am sure. However, I do have some problems with this new breed of protestor who believes they have the right to disrupt ordinary citizens lives whilst bringing as much media attention to themselves as possible. I have worked with young people, and while they want to change the world they, on the whole, do not seem too keen on making quiet and personal choices to do so.

Students would persistantly request the air con be turned on when it was just a little hot. I would say let’s open the windows and if we need to, put on the fans; let’s choose an option that uses the least energy. Likewise when it was cooler they would request heating, because rather than wear warm clothes, they would dress for summer and freeze. My point is that we can all make changes which will help our world, we can all walk more lightly on the globe. The trend seems to be to make a lot of noise trying to force others to make the changes we want to see but reluctance to make sacrifices ourselves. As Ghandi said, “you must be the change you want to see in the world”.

Below are some ideas which anyone can implement and if enough people do so we can all walk more lightly on the globe.

Shun single use plastic anything. In fact, avoid plastic as much as possible in the first place; if you do use it be sure to recycle and dispose of it thoughtfully. Plastic is posioning our waterways and oceans. It is posioning us.

Bigger is not better. Seek moderation in all things. Less is more. Take less of everything that is consumable. Enjoy more of the blessings of nature.

Plant a tree. Compost.

Pay attention to the little things. “He who is faithful in a little is also faithful in much”. If you look after the little things the big things will look after themselves. So every “little” action which supports and sustains our environment improves the big picture.

“Wilful waste makes woeful want”, an old quote from my mother, paraphrased as “waste not want not”. Wasting resources of any type is not cool, cut waste in every area of life.

None of these things are earth shattering and they won’t make media headlines but if enough people do them the planet will thankful.

Way leads onto Way.

A blog by Estelle D.

I remember the day the man walked on the moon. I was in high school and it was in the middle of exams. All the exams for the afternoon were postponed and the students sent home to watch the history making event of the first man to walk on the moon. I was a country bus kid and couldn’t go home so a black and white television was set up under A block and we were to sit there and watch it until the bus came.

A few of us, myself and three others thought that was a bit boring and besides there was one of our number, a country bus kid who was in hospital recovering after having her appendix removed. We had known each other for what seemed like forever, all thorough our primary school years at a little country school where families knew each other and there was a vibrant small community spirit; you could say we considered it out civic duty to visit the sick.

So off we set, arms entwined, singing and marching along over the oval, through the back gate,along the river bank, under the bridge and onto the hospital where our friend was. We passed by the home where someone’s big sister lived and called from the gate for her to come out to say hello. We sang and laughed and continued marching.

At the hospital we sat on the patient’s bed and charmed the little old ladies in the surrounding beds. We ate Fantales and watched the man walk on the moon on a tiny portable black and white television. Then off we went, retracing our path back to the school. We arrived under A Block in plenty of time to catch our bus; I don’t think anyone even missed us.

Now, that’s what I remember about 21st of July 1969.

Way leads onto Way.

For the past week I have been sorting out my folders. Teachers have a lot of folders- one, at least, for each unit of work they teach and they are always on the lookout for new resources and current topical pieces which support units- they gather a lot of stuff. So I have been sorting, reducing, recycling; I have “Maria Kondoed” it , thanked it for its usefulness and let it go!

Before I retired, I thought, you know what? I am just going to get in there and dump the lot! Some things were really easy to let go – some units I looked at and thought, Thank goodness I won’t have to teach that again! A quick and easy decision. But then others were simply too valuable to let go – I am not ready yet to dump Shakespeare, my poetry, how to structure an essay, write a short story or how to write and speak to persuade. I expect to have opportunity to use these in the future. Still, much has been achieved, folders have been hugely reduced, neatly refilled and labelled for easy retrieval.

All this brings me to my point about things and stuff. The world is highly overthinged and huge importance is placed on things- a whole ideology of Capitalism and consumerism supported by media a advertising brainwashes into believing that things make us happy and even more disturbing, the concept that we are only as important and valuable as the things we have. So here we go; here are my-

Ten top tips to test things:

  • Are your things acquired honestly?
  • Are your things acquired ethically?
  • Are you in crippling debt because of your things? Time to cut the cloth to fit.
  • Are you maintaining your things? If not; do not get another thing until you know how to look after what you already have.
  • Are you using your things?
  • Are your things a blessing or a curse?
  • Do you bless others with your things?
  • Are your things making you sick? Too much clutter, dust, stuff, disorder will make you physically and emotionally ill.
  • If you lost your things, would you still have yourself? Or do you see your value in your things?
  • Do you believe that people and relationships are more valuable than things?

Red Alert : Things, just more and more things, will not make you happy.

Way leads onto Way.

A blog by Estelle D.

I am thankful for all my blessings, and there are many – each day is a Think on Thankfulness Day because when Thankfulness is “front of mind”, everywhere one looks they find something, in fact many things, for which to be thankful. Years ago my husband bought me a fridge magnet which says, When I count my blessings, I count you twice, and indeed there are many blessings of life which we should count twice.

Choosing to be thankful might not change the world, terrible things might still happen, but it will change the way you view the world and that will make a difference. I am sure you know of the law of attraction which says we attract into out lives the things in which we invest our energy. Can you imagine your world filled with gratitude and thankfulness and that attracting just more and more for which to be thankful? It works. give it a try.

I am ever so thankful for my legs. Legs come in all shapes, sizes and shades. A man once told me that good legs were legs that could fulfill the purpose for which they were designed and that is to enable us to move from point A to point B and for this legs are a one size fits all. Perhaps we spend too much time worrying about how legs look rather than being thankful for what legs can do.

Anyway, I love my legs and I love what they allow me to do -they allow me to walk. Now walking, as any health practitioner will tell you is wonderful for health and well-being. It is said that if walking was a pill, everyone would want to take it, which says a lot for the general eagerness to pop a pill rather than make a choice which is good for us but requires some action. Hippocrates famously said that walking is Man’s best medicine. Another quote of his states, If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another one.

Pretty good advice and can you image the benefit to our society if this advice was heeded? Rather than the road rage and domestic violence which is a scourge to our communities, everyone could be out walking, improving their attitude and their health. There are all types of walking, and the best part is you get to choose what style suits you. There is no wrong way to walk.

I am aware that for reasons beyond their control there are persons who are unable to walk. This in no way makes them less of a person and as Christopher Reeve said, Some people are walking around with full use of their bodies and they are more paralysed than I am. It is the people who can walk but choose to stay paralysed I urge to get out and go for a walk! In our school library there was a quote attributed to Mark Twain, The person who won’t read has no advantage over the one who can’t read. So I am going to just rejig this quote a little and leave you with this thought;

The person who won’t walk has no advantage over the person who can’t walk.

See you on the pavement.

Way leads onto Way

A blog by Estelle D.

In another life I would have gone to work this morning. I would have had something booked in or the phone would have rung and I would have been out the door. But today is the first day of my retirement from the profession of secondary school teaching. I would have liked to make it to the end of the year but some life issues suggested otherwise and actually it is very cold today and there is a freezing wind so I am just as pleased to be indoors and writing rather than on playground duty. For the last five years I have worked as a short contract and supply teacher and for the most part it has been great fun. This was my winding down period; all the fun of teaching, all care and responsibility but no nervous breakdown! I think it has been a fair run.

Back in January 1971 when I began work as a junior shop assistant I was paid the princely sum of $19.90 per week. Since that time, way has lead onto way and what a story it has been.

Firstly I should tell you a little about myself. My son encouraged me to write this blog with all my new found “free time” and since words have been a passion and a therapy for many years, I too thought it would be a good idea. I have played with writing for many decades and now perhaps I have the time and discipline to do some. This blog is about nothing in particular and lots of things in general. It is about living life purposefully and with joy, it is about walking lightly on our globe, it is about loving truth, seeking peace and sharing liberally. It is about how way leads onto way and takes us to places unplanned and unknown but always amazing. I will share my musings on life, perhaps some hard earned wisdom and hopefully through it all will shine humour, humility and passion.

I believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God and confess Jesus Christ as my Saviour and while this is not a religious blog it will not be possible for me to write without revealing my core, attitudes, values and beliefs. I hope you will choose to come along for the ride.

My interests include, gardening, sewing, cooking, sharing, reading, writing, learning, teaching and traveling. I love people, my hubby, family and grandchildren are the best! I believe in freedom of thought and speech which is seasoned with kindness.

For my first blog, that will be enough. There is more, lots more to come but for today I will leave you with a piece of my poetry.

Bloggers Block by Estelle D. July 2019

In the middle of the night,
When I really should be asleep,
Those creative sprites keep me awake
As they dance and prance across my mind,
And in my head, I write.
But as dawn breaks they take flight to places
I cannot follow,
And in the morrow, day is filled
With places, faces and time races,
But there is little time to write.
But then at night, when I really should be asleep,
Those same sprites keep me awake,
And in my head, I write
and write and write…