In a few weeks I will turn 42. I can’t help but feel this means I should be attaining the answer. The ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything. While I’m waiting for that, though, I am coming to the conclusion that the best thing I can do in life is to be true to the things I believe are important.
I’m not perfect. I make mistakes every day. But I am developing a really clear picture of who I want to be, and what is important to me. Everything I do, I try to view through that lens. Is this who I want to be?
I want to be compassionate. The kind of person who automatically extends a hand to people in need. What I have, I choose to share.
I want to be ethical. To me that means being honest with myself and others about my own motivations. It means examining the evidence and doing the right thing whether it is in my own best interests or not. It means taking action where it’s needed even when it’s hard, or painful, or unpleasant. And it means taking responsibility for my mistakes.
I want to live sustainably. Ultimately that means having a zero carbon footprint. Riding or walking rather than driving. Reducing our energy use at home. Growing our own food where possible. Eating seasonal produce and choosing sustainably grown/harvested food. I have a long way to go with this one, but I’m working on it.
I want to keep reaching higher. I will always be a work in progress. There will always be days when I don’t do the right thing, or don’t achieve my best. I want to use them as opportunities to learn and grow, not as excuses for not trying.
I want to leave the world better than I found it. I don’t want to take what I can get, I’d rather give what I can.
This is who I want to be. And I want my politicians – the leaders of my country – to be people I can look up to. People I want to emulate. Right now they are mostly people I am appalled by. And that’s why I’m voting Green. Like me, they’re not perfect. But they know what matters. They know that compassion matters. They know that equality matters. They know that evidence matters. They know that the environment matters. They know that the poor, the vulnerable, and the sick matter.
Next time you vote, ask yourself whether you are voting for someone who lives up to your standards. Who will leave the world better than they found it.
Disclaimer: I joined The Australian Greens some years ago when I read through their policies on their website and discovered that there was a political party in Australia that was making sense. I’ve been a member ever since.