This is a continuation of act number 10, the ‘Do Lent Generously’ challenge (detailed further down). Detailed below are the acts for days 11 to 20 of the 40 day challenge.
Day 11: One green thing – I am actually finding this one quite challenging as I already put in a lot of effort to making my life as ecologically-friendly as possible. Something I have become aware of is I am more car dependent living here than I have been in any other city. Even though I try to walk or cycle when possible, I still use the car more than I would like. So my ‘one green thing’ is to (re)pledge to walk and cycle as often as possible. Walking or cycling to work is not always possible for me, but my daughter is starting at a new day care next week, and part of my pledge is to walk here there and back each day, rather than drive. That is a realistic goal for me and something I am looking forward to.
Day 12: Not judge – The act for today is to treat people like equals, not assume things about them, and show them generosity, love and friendship for the day. This is not something I want to do for just a day, as showing compassion and love for others is something very important to me; I would even say it defines who I am as a person. I feel huge amounts of compassion for others and am distressed by people facing injustice or prejudice as if it were happening to me. Having said this, I am not claiming to be anywhere near perfect, and I undoubtedly have pre-conceived ideas about different people and the world. So I will also use this act to consciously think about and reflect on my thoughts and ideas about different people and situations, and re-assess ones that may be ill-informed.
Day 13: Go local – This act was to shop at or frequent a local business. I am very much in support of this, as shopping locally helps small-scale businesses and can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by avoiding long-distance travel of goods to supermarkets. I have also found it a good way to become acquainted with people in the area and generally become more involved in the community. To complete this act, I went out to lunch with my parents yesterday at a little cafe in a tiny village north of where I live, that we happened to be passing through.
Day 14: Anonymous gift – My new friend Gail (see post ‘Number 14’) recently moved in to how own home and is living independently. She is very proud of this, and I have bought here a nice doormat for when she welcomes people in to her home. I left it anonymously on her doorstep, today.
Day 15: Spread awareness about a campaign you care about – So this was just a ‘mini-campaign’ (I guess I mean this by what I would consider to be my ‘usual standards’), but today I joined the cancer-awareness campaign that is going around on Facebook at the moment, where you take a photo of yourself without make up. Wearing make up is not part of my daily routine, so my putting a(nother) photo of me without make up on is nothing special, really. And to me, it doesn’t actually matter if people wear or don’t wear make up, as long as they are happy with how they are expressing themselves (though I wish fewer people felt insecure without make up, as not wearing make up is beautiful, too). Having said that, I have enjoyed seeing my friends’ beautiful faces without make up over the past days. I captioned the photo with the sentiments expressed above, as well as a link to a website which contains information on which cosmetic brands do not test on animals, as that is another issue I care strongly about. To my dear aunt Monik who lost her battle with cancer, I love you lots. I send out my best wishes to anyone in that battle right now, and their families.
Day 16: Bake for people – See post ‘Number 25’.
Day 17: P’s & Q’s – Today’s act is to put extra effort in to being polite and courteous to people, which I shall do.
Day 18: Give to a charity – See post ‘Number 17’.
Day 19: Leave a random note of encouragement for someone to find – I left this note near a staircase on university campus, where it was most likely one of the cleaners would find it:
Day 20 : Talk to a stranger – Small talk is something I do not usually enjoy , nor am I very good at it. So I put in extra effort for this act. Yesterday I had a whole conversation with the check-out person while I was doing my groceries (usually I only manage a sentence or two, before pretending to be distracted by something in my bag, etc. It was actually not nearly as bad as I thought! And I will try to do this more often in future.