Small Changes

About 15 years ago, I heard the term “cultural creative” used to describe a population group with core characteristics and values that still allow wide divergences in political and business ideology and practice.  I discovered the group by encountering and then reading:  The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World is a nonfiction social sciences and sociology book by sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson.

Cultural creatives are further divided into core or green types.   Core Cultural Creatives comprise the more educated, leading-edge thinkers. This includes many writers, artists, musicians, psychotherapists, alternative health care providers and other professionals. They combine a serious focus on their spirituality with a strong passion for social activismGreen Cultural Creatives comprise the more secular and extroverted wing. They tend to follow the opinions of the core group and have more conventional religious outlooks. Their world view is less thought-out than the core group and less intensely held.

I find the small changes that individuals with this mindset make very interesting.  I am most closely aligned with the core, but many of my friends and relatives would fit under the green.  Some changes to my own life and habits over the years have included buying my morning coffee in a reusable thermos cup, paying a small fee to allow my utility company to buy green, contributing to independent media such as Democracy Now and the Nation, supporting issues such as funding for Planned Parenthood, and shopping locally and at farmers markets when possible.  I love physical books, but I now get 90% of my books, audiobooks and music as downloads.

I have two habits that I am trying to enforce and internalize:  never let implied or blatant intolerance, bigotry, racism or lies pass without challenging them … and … simplify by repurposing or replacing and resisting the urge to collect and accumulate.  Both of these are a struggle for me.  I am conscious of my social conditioning, but I still have it.  I pursue new ideas, interests and activities enthusiastically.  I research and purchase and store for the future.  I’d need several futures to utilize all the things I’ve accumulated that way.  The one exception is reading/listening.  I’ve read or heard about 90% of all the books and music in my library and play list.  The exceptions are largely reference materials and bargains.  I am utilizing my public libraries and free offers from vendors (like Amazon) more often and more fully.

If enough of us make even small changes, we can change the world.  Always remember, inaction IS action … it endorses by default.