As I’ve been walking over the past few months, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into two particular quotes:
1. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi
2. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” -Buckminster Fuller
I struggle with these quotes every day because I often don’t feel like I have enough to offer the world. I’m just a 24 year old, lower-middle class, college dropout who writes and raps about his awareness that our current system is cancerous. How the hell can I actually change anything? I used to think that a mic and some good lyrics could change the world. Maybe they can, but not if I’m only talking about it. I have to BE the change that I’m talking about. I have to BUILD a new model. If I want to CHANGE anything, I have to start with myself. So i started thinking about the change I wanted to see in the world.
See, my vision of an ideal world isn’t any new concept. I imagine a future much like the past, before we separated ourselves from the natural world. I dream of a place where food and clean water are readily available to all, where people coexist and cooperate in small, autonomous communities, where no one has to go to war because everyone already has what they need. I know that this Utopia can be a reality because it has already existed as a reality before we paved over it. In fact, it existed as a way of life for much longer than our modern society has been around. Indigenous communities all over the world lived in harmony with nature and each other, so no one can tell me that it’s naive to think we can build that. Yes, it would come with it’s own unique hardships, but those hardships would be evenly distributed instead of falling on the communities weakest members. That leads me to my idea.
I want to start a non-profit organization that will purchase vacant lots and petition for the use of public land to sustainably grow public food. The goal is to eventually have fruit trees, vegetables, grains and hemp growing on every block. These urban gardens could be maintained and utilized by local homeless and low-income families, as well as volunteers through the organization. We could also divert old lumber, screens, glass, etc. from landfills by repurposing them towards the construction of greenhouses and garden beds. This will not only provide people with much needed nutrition, they will be working for it too, increasing their feeling of self-worth and teaching them very valuable skills. The money for this non-profit could be fundraised through races, walks, artwork sales, etc. Also, if we can get enough support, we could eventually legalize the cultivation of hemp so that we can grow it and use it to make clothes and other products to sell for the cause. Leftover food could be sold as well.
I have a few ideas for names (but I could use others):
Grow to Heaven
Carry Your Weight
Operation Food Freedom
What are your thoughts? Would anyone be interested in helping with this cause? This is not something I can do alone, but I think it’s what needs to happen. Please share your thoughts so we can turn this into a reality. Thank you!