May 26, 2008

Yes, You Can.

AIDS Walk 2008 was a freaking blast. Can't wait till next year! (Let me know if you're interested in helping out @

Often times, when I encourage people to do something or another, be it to go veg or to cheer up, I'll get responses about how not everyone can do what I do or live their lives the way I can. There's a reason why I'm able to do what I do -- stay raw, maintain a positive attitude, stay as ecologically friendly as I can, and whatever else it is I do -- and that is that I want to do it.

It may sound obvious, so let me elaborate. I take things extremely lightly; when you take things too heavily, failures are amplified and your mood and perception suddenly becomes negative. On the other hand, when you don't take things too seriously, you brush off small problems. If you really think about it, most of the things people get upset/worked up over are menial matters that may seem important in the moment but really aren't. You'll start to realize that more when you decide to simply let go of your problems. Within hours, if not minutes, they disappear as if they were never present.

I think this has a lot to do with why people are afraid to take action. Now, I'm not the perfect example of the person to take on the world's problems, but I can definitely say I do my part against various crises. The easiest-to-describe example of my doing something people wouldn't ever consider is going raw. If anyone asked me in before late March if I were ever going to consider going raw, I'd call them crazy. I didn't think it was possible for anybody short of radical to be raw, and that's probably what you're thinking. It's definitely hard to conceive eating only plants and the fruits they bear; however, what I've realized is that it's only hard to conceive if you think of it as a discipline. The second you think of anything you do as a discipline or as something you have to do simply because you have to (sounds redundant, but makes sense if you think about it), it'll become immediately less enjoyable. The reason I can stay raw is because I don't think of it as an inconvenience or a difficult endeavor. I enjoy the food preparation (note that before I went raw, I didn't prepare ANY food for myself. I wouldn't even cut my own lettuce for my salads.) I take pride in knowing that everything in my body is clean and pure. Most of all, I enjoy the fact that people want to eat more fruits/veggies when they're having a meal with me (well, most people).

This mindset can be applied to practically anything that would seem to be an inconvenience. A lot of people refuse to go green not because they enjoy destroying our environment but because it's a pain to do more environmentally things (i.e. using a reusable water bottle instead of plastic water bottles, taking colder showers, not turning the AC or the heater on when they're the slightest bit uncomfortable). When you stop thinking of it as a pain, you'll do it without regard for the amount you have to go out of your way. Too often do I hear people correlate their desire to do things with how much they have to go out of their way to do them. Get real, guys. You're not going to make changes unless you go out of your way. Remember this, though: going out of your way to make a change for a few days magically makes that once-inconvenient activity a habit that isn't so inconvenient anymore. You've got to think about why you're doing things and then act upon them. I live the way I do because it's all second nature to me, but if you think that was always the case, think again. I have no more will power or determination than you do, but I know why I'm doing what I'm doing. That's what allows me to do it.

I guess if I want you to take anything from this post, it's to not be afraid or hesitant in turning a new leaf. Things become easier, and you suddenly become more open to changes when you think about why you're doing them.

BTW - check this out: It's a group of kids at Oberlin College unafraid of making changes. The idea isn't so uncommon.


iwishthereweretenofthem said...

Great post. I'm not sure if you read these, but considering that I became aware of this blog via Jason Mraz I may as well ask, have you been introduced to new age philosophies? Or have you read the books Jason recommended a while ago? They seem like something you'd dig. I too am on a similar mission to change the world I live in and as you prove, we first have to change our own worlds or lives. Once we do so, our positive vibrations will spread like wildfire. Live it up man!

Ankit said...

I actually have been recently reading up on new age philosophies. I'm in the middle of The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, after which I'm going to read his other book, A New Earth. It's waiting for me on my bookshelf. They're amazingly enlightening. I'm learning tons from Tolle's teachings.

Stay real.