SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 163: A New Meaning Of Compromise

“We must all allow for everything. Every presence, every influence, so that we are allowed to be who we are and what we are, naturally, and be true to ourselves. By allowing for everything you are having a form of compromise, however small or large, it is a form of change. And what I would want for the world going forward is that we all allow for change, true change. We all united together and take that first step and change everything together, all a once.”

Words shared with us today by Jackson, friend of Sue, both of whom I meet at a farmer’s market this morning. Most of my time is spent speaking with Jackson who started our discussion with the above words. He talks of compromise, but it is not the compromise that many would associate with that word. Jackson uses the word as a call to unity in directing us to be adaptable. When he speaks of compromise he is speaking of humility, understanding, and the ability to listen to one another in achieving one common goal, task, or better yet, dream for the future.

Jackson and I share our histories and I find out that twelve months ago the company to which he had dedicated many years had laid him off due to cutting back their work force.  A story that many of us have shared, or we know people who are going through similar experiences. Jackson looked at this chapter of his life with meaning and even though difficult to go through, is thankful for no longer working in the culture he was working in.

He speaks of allowing for the fact that everything has a place and it has helped him to develop his understanding of compromise. And when he speaks of compromise, he talks of it as an empowering tool, as he expressed to us earlier, “No matter how large or how small it is, it is still a form of change.”

I can tell by Jackson’s attitude that he is where he wants and needs to be, and speaking with him is a testament to his positive outlook.

Sue contributes with an equally positive view of the world. “I believe in people’s honesty, and in the Golden Rule. I’ve learned through my life, when you give, you get (Mitzvah).”

So why are Sue and Jackson at this farmer’s market?  The only answer I have for that is Mitzvah. They are here, seeking not to sell products but, to promote what they both feel is of the highest importance – taking care of our planet.

The reason I am standing here talking to them is at first, gratitude for the beautiful violets they have given to my daughter and her friend; the same potted violets they have been giving out all morning to every passerby who stops to share time with them. As we start to talk I just felt it was the right thing to do to include them in 365.

Jackson tells me of his concerns for the planet, “We have to clean up our own mess; we are dirtying it up faster than we can clean it up.”

He tells me of a situation where he came across a limestone construct that filtered the air. From that we question what the government is appropriating their resources for. In looking at where money gets spent, why can’t we allow more budget to support environmentally positive concepts?

“It doesn’t make sense;” he says, “every little change we can do makes a difference. We found spoons made out of cornstarch. They are completely disposable and completely biodegradable. The Government subsidizes the farmers who grow corn, makes sense that somehow they could come together to mainstream products like this.”

 “I’m bringing back a lost art – organic growing,” Sue tells us. This is their reason for giving their gift of flowers for all who pass by. It is a token to foster recipients to think about their daily impact on the environment. Every violet that is leaving their table has been completely organically grown, from seed, to water, to soil… even what it is packaged in, all with zero negative impact to the planet. Again, Mitzvah!

My experience with them reminds me of my talk with Bronwyn, Treat The Planet Right several months ago when she challenged us:“If we are going to change, we have to do more, get involved, and educate ourselves. It is amazing how little knowledge our current people know about the environmental impact of industry and population.”

In honoring Bronwyn’s statement, it is great to see people who are championing the same cause.

May we all find our own ways of compromising for a healthier planet.