As a person who is constantly overwhelmed by self-doubt and lack of confidence, I spend so much time as an INFJ also meditating how to make the world a better place- how can I impact the world and leave it a bit better than I found it? I don’t have ambitions as high as becoming the first female president, but there are subtle moments in our day-to-day that we can change and influence others, that become a wave of a bigger movement with one small decision.
It’s okay if you’re not perfect and live in a zero-waste house, for example, as long as you are at least conscious and working on improving lessening your wasteful contribution to the garbage landfills.
After researching a lot about environmental waste, particularly about non-biodegradeable products that are incredibly harmful in mass doses, I came across this website that discussed a movement in Berkeley, California encouraging restaurants and other cities to become straw-free. Of course, there are always people who might dismiss the idea with the thought that we are those annoying hipster tree-huggers. But I don’t consider myself one, in that I don’t censor and become super paranoid about using a plastic bottle for example. However, it is a simple solution that makes a lot of sense to me in persuading restaurants to become straw-free, cutting costs down for them as well as benefitting the environment. Straws are a superfluous product, one that we might enjoy using, but definitely do not need. It was surprising to me to find out that straws are one of the top 10 items contributing to total garbage littering our natural environment. So I thought, where can I make the biggest impact in as short and efficient of a time as possible? I looked up Applebee’s, a place that my fellowship and I frequent with up to 20 people if not over, almost weekly. I sent an email complimenting their staff, but also suggesting how cutting down on offering straws would make a huge difference.
Today, the manager called me and talked to me about it!! He said he never thought about it, but it was a pretty good idea and he would talk to upper management about it. The issue was that they used it as a difference between straws used for alcohol so that they could catch underage kids drinking. We talked for a couple minutes and he said his name was Jesse and I should flag him down next time I’m there so we could meet. I just thought it was so awesome of him to reach out and seem to actually CARE. YAY HUMANITY IS NOT LOST.
The second moment was when I wanted to join a bunch of dudes in watching basketball, and when I went to watch, one of the guys jokingly said, “get outta here, we’re tryna watch the game.” At first, my instinct was to laugh since they were laughing too, and I knew they were joking. One of the guys next to him was like yo that’s sexist. However, somehow I found the courage to speak up and ask him to apologize, in which he did, twice, the second time sincerely. I don’t know, maybe it wasn’t worth writing a long post about, but I felt empowered and proud of myself for these small moments of hopefully contributing to a bigger wave of change in our thinking and our choices that we make.