Community Commentary

Reboot the Mission

“People are crazy and times are strange,” from Bob Dylan’s Academy award-winning song. 

More recently, his son Jakob crafted “Reboot the Mission” with The Wallflowers. Awesome! What do you care about? Is it time to step it up and make a change or two in your life? Talking about getting one’s proverbial act together like we always ponder and promise in January, but seldom do we follow. Ya follow? You know what they say about good intentions and the road to hell.

Habits and addictions. Making a difference means addressing them, what we all recognize and dislike, then shy away from usually due to excuses, such as misinformation, fear, laziness, too late, too difficult, or it might upset the relationship apple cart. “Deal With It” is an excellent book on this subject by Viet Nam veteran, retired pastor, Naval chaplain, and Carlsbad octogenarian — my friend Don Davis.

You’ve heard it said that people don’t change, right? You bet they do. I call it “My Personal Complexity Theory.” Good stress and bad stress both motivate and drive change in the organism known as Homo sapiens, which is us, as we develop, or evolve. There is no avoiding this reality, as much as we might try. Change is constant, and the best changes begin at home. “Old too soon, smart too late” was one of my Austrian grandmother’s favorite sayings. She was so right because the time all goes flying by and before you know it, you get old.

What hits you hard enough to create meaningful change? A special song, a personal health crisis, your children, the death of someone you love, a global crisis?

This year perhaps you will decide to ride a bike more often, watch less TV, quit smoking, plant a garden, read or even write a book. Please, get rid of all those stupid plastic bags, lids, straws, bottles, and Styrofoam choking the cosmos at every turn.

Coke has a new ad encouraging more recycling. Let’s stage a packaging protest and tell them we don’t want their plastic crap anymore. At least politely request a ceramic cup for your coffee or use your own travel mug for drinks until they get the message. To me it is outrageous that churches spend millions on remodeling, but think they are saving money by serving coffee in Styrofoam.

A statewide bag ban is coming, so be sure to remember your reusables when you shop. How about tending one’s garden by pulling some weeds instead of spraying with Roundup so the chemicals don’t go down the storm drain to the ocean.

Consider ditching the plastic bagging for your yard waste. The Miramar “Greenery” would benefit from less plastic in their mulch! Cut the gutter pipe at the back of your house and collect rainwater into a covered garbage can thus creating a homemade cistern. Pick up behind your darling dog with a piece of junk mail paper that sorely needs a higher purpose. Put some seed out for the birds and enjoy their beautiful songs of thanks. Be nice to the bunny rabbits. Clean the garage or a closet and donate some of your good stuff to the local charity shop. Smile at a neighbor or a stranger, or a strange neighbor, and say “Hello in there”!

It’s April already, so get solar and a hybrid and those funny new light bulbs and save paper and keep your tires inflated and take shorter showers and recycle. Phew! But it’s bigger than that. “You’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

Habits are hard to change, but every day there’s always another chance to do something good for yourself and the planet by getting it together and shaking things up. Rock on into 2013!

Save the date: April 25 at Oceanside Museum of Art — the Southern California screening of Jeremy Irons’ new documentary film “Trashed” starring Captain Charles Moore. Free to the public.

Celia Kiewit is an Encinitas resident.