Hestia by Brian Froud. Click image for magazine

{Note: prior to WordPress, I belonged to a blogging community called Gaia, that was originally called Zaadz. This post was written while I belonged to Zaadz.}

I keep forgetting to try and spread the word. I looked at the current copy of Alternatives magazine in Portland because of the gorgeous artwork I instantly recognized as Brian Froud. Inside is an article about Zaadz, with an interview with Siona van Dijk.

Even more fun is their new partnership with Zaadz, and a site where you can join and participate in discussions to meld Alternatives and Zaadz in a healthy, positive way to make the best of both.

A quote from van Dijk:

And when it comes to dialog… well, I know that I, personally, have been deeply transformed through these conversations. There‚Äôs something about connecting with another human being, halfway around the world, and having them impact me in such a way that I question my beliefs, or expand my ability to empathize or take the place of another. And when I think of thousands and millions of these little individual transformations occurring, and catalyzing other transformations in turn, this, to me, feels world-changing. 

Sometimes I find it hard to get on board with what I perceive to be a bunch of high-falutin’ idealistic people out to change the world. Yeah, you talk big, but are your words wise and do your actions really help? For example, switching from paper grocery bags to plastic. Think it through first…

Anyway, I really liked van Dijk’s words here. My noticeable actions are minuscule. So how can I claim I’m any better than the loud talkers I am wary of? Well…because I at least try to improve myself. And that works just like a pay-it-forward chain. When I learn patience, love, understanding, and tolerance as well as genuine appreciation for the things I had never had to face before….then the person who exposes me to these things gets a smile instead of a dirty look. Then perhaps that person feels supported, maybe not so isolated. Maybe that person goes home and puts their arm around a loved one and plays with the dog for a few minutes. In my heart, I feel like this is the sort of tiny transformations van Dijk is referring to.

(This image, by the way, is not mine at all…it’s the cover art of Alternatives, painted by Brian Froud and snatched from the Internet by me without permission…)

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