Thursday, 15 January 2015

Danny Attfield Reflects on SA AoC in 2014

Agents of Change helped me rediscover what I realize is a very deep respect for nature.  It helped me express my feelings about the environment and my anger and sadness about what people have done to the Earth.

Agents of Change itself allows discussion about the environment without making anyone feel guilty or telling people  "It is your fault that there is global warming because you don't recycle!" It also taught me about the environment and how everyone is connected.

It gave me a space to feel very peaceful and write poems or meditate even when I was feeling upset or anxious.

I think that Agents of Change has helped me to become a more calm person and worry a bit less about everything in general.  It is nice to think of solutions instead of just stating that there are problems or scaring everyone into not leaving their taps to drip because it would basically lead to the collapse of society.

Agents of Change has helped me believe that I can actually help, even if my contribution is small.  Ripples always start out small.  Thank you Agents of Change.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

SA AoC Science Center Cape Town 7 January 2015

I had a surreal experience during the holidays while I was standing in the Supermarket.  I'd always thought it was full of food, but when I looked around me, I saw manufactured products that are harmful to health, plastic bottles of water or sugared and coloured drink, and stuff that people don't need.  I thought about the plastic in the sea, and all of the bags that harm wildlife.  It had always been a problem I saw as existing "out there", something that people were doing, but not me.  But I began to realize the amount of rubbish that leaves my house every week, taken and disposed of somewhere I can't see.  I saw how unnecessary so much of what I buy without thinking actually is.  I'm going to change that.  Even just cooking your own food, washing a spoon or drinking water from the tap can reduce the amount of throw away plastic.  By making these little changes, I can make a contribution.  (no name).

We live in a plastic world
Where we drive toy cars
And eat cardboard food

We live in a plastic world
Where we scoop the oceans
And burn the trees

We live in a plastic world
Where we weave plastic lies
With our sewing lips

But our world isn't only plastic
We can make it stone and wood again
We can turn the grey to green

We must stop making our world plastic
Otherwise we too become plastic
A little more everyday

Listening to the different thoughts today, from the children feeling joy and wonder at the outside world, to adult (and teen) sadness at all of the plastic in the oceans and in landfills, I realized how much I love our process, because it gives space to everyone, and acknowledges all feelings and perspectives.

Just before New Year, I realized how reluctant I was to get involved in a conversation about equal rights and equal voices, because some of the people started telling somebody else what to think.  I was worried that if I got involved or tried to share, it could make things worse, and the conversation could become hurtful (this happened before).  At that time, I realized how much I love this work, and how much space there is to share and explore when there is empathy and respect.  It really is a relief to work in this way.  We need all different perspectives and many voices to add to our conversations.  (Nicci).