This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Question of the Day: It's about activism

The current discussion here at BIKE WITH JACKIE makes me realize that there's a lot to get active about lately. But you can't be an activist about everything. If you tried, or if you got wrapped in all that's going on right now, you'd spread yourself too thin and accomplish very little. So I believe you have to choose your poison, and base it on your passion so interest endures. Therefore, my question for you is:

What is YOUR cause?

Mine is helping women in transition. I've been able to take my own life experience and use it to other women's advantage. I provide a mental tool that can be used to help fight distress. There's no cure for my cause, but there' a way to overcome it. And that's my mission in life: to help other women overcome the obstacles that threaten their success. Basically, I like to say I help move people forward. It's all about the BIKE.

Alexandra Grabbe, who inspired today's question, might consider her cause the environment. She cares about what's harming the land and seas, and she blogs about issues that come up where she lives. I'd say her mission might be to educate, and she's good at it. Her blog makes an excellent vehicle to help us become more aware of what we can do to help the environment.

Now tell us what your cause is and what you do for it? If you don't have a cause, what issues going on in the world right now are really tugging at your heartstrings? What would you like to do about them?

There's no right or wrong answer here. Just think about this: You have a natural gift that you may or may not be using. It could be that you're great at bringing people together. You could be amazing with words. You could have an eye for design. There could be an artist in you just waiting to break free. You could be the one everyone calls when their organization needs to raise funds. I'm curious to know if you know what your special skill is and how it can best be used for the betterment of our world.


She Rides a Bike said...

I think activism starts with the individual and often involves baby steps and simple changes in personal choices rather than demonstrations and megaphones. Unfortunately, too many activists opt for the latter approach and its not very effect. I would never consider myself an activist for this reason. When we moved to Flagstaff at the end of 2006, I was unprepared for and horrified by the high cost of living and the struggle to make ends meet even on a combined 6 figure income. This was largely due to the high cost and limited availability of rental housing (at the time) and outrageous cost of homeownership. We sold one car and started bike commuting as a way to make life more affordable for us and as a response to the spike in gas a few years ago. It really made a difference financially. Bike commuting is pretty easy to do here most of the year but I feel that public investment in bike paths and lanes are inadequate to make it an easy option for many potential bike commuters. I write a blog that focuses on normalizing bike commuting, and illustrates how it adds to my quality of life. I work hard not to lecture or come across as anti-car. Bike commuting, my blog and following similar blogs has taught me a lot about simplifing, slowing down and focusing on experiences rather than accumlating "stuff".

My interest in supporting affordable housing issues has really been challenged in the last year due to the economy. As a single person who worked for many years for low paying nonprofits, I took advantage of a couple of programs for first time and inner city homebuyers and they were wonderful. Last year I joined the Board of Habitat for Humanity here but am struggling a bit with promoting homeownership versus focusing on safe affordable housing in general, whether it be rental or owner occupied. Housing for the local workforce remains a huge problem here. Even solidly middle class people must take on a disproportionate amount of debt to own a home here, even if they can find a short sale or acquire a loan. Habitat doesn't address the housing needs of those people. I also question tying low income people to the financial responsibility of homeownership when most of our potential partners are the most at risk for losing their jobs in these uncertain economic times. My husband and I wish we could have found something to rent because owning really limits our options right now.

From what I can see we lack committed elected leadership to move these and other social equity issues forward into active public policy. I'm a public employee some I must be very careful about how I express my opinions. At the moment, I feel the change I was hoping for as been replaced by more of the same. The voice that once spoke to us as adults during the campaign now seems very reluctant to challenge us to examine whether each of us are willing to be a part of change or simply expecting everyone else to take the first step.

BIKE LADY said...

It's great that you can bike most everywhere in Flagstaff. I understand they're trying to make it easier--more trails under development right now. And since you blog about your interests, I hope that's helping you get the word out about how one family can help make a difference. Let's hope so, as I, too, am saddened how the high cost of living makes creating a higher quality of life so difficult. I lived in Flagstaff in the late 80s, when it was still affordable. When it became more of a vacation place in the 90s--and not just a college town--that seemed to change the economic landscape. It is horrifying to hear that even with six figures a family could struggle to keep up with the bills.

Thank you so much for posting. I'll be visiting your blog to see what more you have to say about this topic.