Two posts earlier, I began a series on the two challenges I set myself up for this year. This post is about the second challenge.
To read about the first challenge, please read:
Once again, Bestie Boy’s text in green and mine in brown.
Bestie Boy: I, too, read a blog by a guy who also leaned more on the pragmatic side of the story*. But it was entertaining reading nonetheless.
Me: There’s nothing entertaining about the pragmatic side of things for me. And pragmatic is what it all boils down to eventually.
As I said above, knowing something and doing it are different. The latter is a lot harder, of course. Slacktivism is all the rage. Signing petitions, participating in rallies, awareness and fundraising events, donating cash or material kind; all these are wonderful and necessary, but to me, these are the easy ways out. More importantly, I do not think these practices alone are sufficient to reduce the damage in the first place, or reverse it.
The only way to ascertain we meet these goals (reduce and reverse) is to roll up our sleeves and get dirty. An unexpected bonus? The feeling of satisfaction knowing that we are trying to make the all important difference. As with most things in my life, I prefer to be on the vaccination side than the Band-Aid side. Meaning, I prefer being proactive rather than reactive; prevent more than cure.
I do not like the pragmatic side of the practices to help causes I believe in. Deprivation, in whatever form or to whatever degree, is not fun. So much so, I get quite annoyed with myself when I learn new little ways to do something to further a cause that’s important to me because eventually, it’s always about sacrificing.
My latest ‘gig’ for example. The monsoons are upon us. Years ago, there used to be a fishing ban from early June to the end of August. This was not only because the waters were too rough for the traditional canoe-style fishing boats to venture into the deep sea, but also to allow marine life to breed normally.
Over the past decade, that has changed. From 3 months, the fishing ban was reduced to a shocking one month. The reason? Greed. Technology helped; with mechanised fishing trawlers that made it relatively safer for vessels to brave the raging monsoon waters.
The green peeps here in my state fought and managed to get the ban extended for an extra 15 days last year. Only to have that decision overturned and trashed this year. And then, I just had to go and read an article, and discover what one of the pro-longer-ban guys, a scientist, said. I’ll summarise his rant concern below in blue.
Earlier generations did not eat fresh fish during those 3 monsoon months i.e. June, July and August. They survived on a variety of salted fish preparations. (Our family did, too, even until I left home for uni.)
Today, outside the banned period of one month, we eat freshly caught fish.
During the banned period of a mere month, we eat fish that has been caught earlier and frozen.
Both varieties come at an enormous cost to the environment. Eating fresh fish before and after the reduced ban does not allow marine life to breed normally and this results in the stock of fish not being replenished for the following season.
Bottom line: An unsustainable practice.
As soon as I read that, what do I go and do?
What I did as a child.
No fresh fish for three months i.e. June to August. Arrgh!
Thank you, Bill Hitchcock, for permitting me to share this image from your site,
Mum still has her quota of fish at lunch time and I don’t grudge her that at all. She’s 81; she’s, ahem, excused.
I hate learning all these joy-of-life sucking tips, Bestie Boy. I hate that my conscience doesn’t permit me to not practise what I know (will help the causes that are dear to me).
Oh, but I LOVE bragging about these deprivation gigs.
I’m in the throes of a bragging episode right now.
Bestie Boy: Oh no! Wa-hay, here we go again! No fish for three months, huh? That’s a pret-ty big fish you’re chasing, Kate. You love fish, and you love pork, and yeah, yeah, you love basically all food, you grub hawk. Still, no fish for a flupping three months? How are you not going to be a fish out of water? Oi, no cheating with the frozen and tinned varieties, ya hear? No fishy business at all.
Me: I’m gonna try, Bestie Boy. This is going to be very hard for me.
Bestie Boy: Meh. You’re going to nail this tail, K-Wizzle. I know it. Now go fish. I mean, don’t. *fist bump with pride*
And oh, the next time we go swimming and you see bubbles ascending from the depths, don’t yell at me in disgust, you mad piece of fool. It’ll be the ocean gurgling her gratitude.
Bestie Boy just cannot resist a body of water. Despite the warning sign board, he flung off his shirt and cargo shorts and “attempted suicide”. (It’s what I ranted about after he had had his fun.)
Fortunately, he left his trekking sandals on. Oh, his Sponge Bob kecks, too. One can never tell with my dude bud.
And that uncertainty of Bestie Boy’s shenanigans is the biggest challenge of all for poor ol’ me.
Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!, for commenting on my last post.
P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.
I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!