It's that time of year once again where we celebrate the fall harvest, and ask the question: "what are we thankful for?" The common answers often involve family, friends, food, and while all these aspect of life are important, how about broadening our perspectives, and be thankful for the amazing free service trees provide: giving us clean air every day.
How about the amazing horse chestnuts which keep our house spiders away that scatter beautifully on the streets of Victoria. Or the amazing service the locally owned café staff provide you every morning? I always express gratitude to the people around me that make my life more colorful each day. I'm also very thankful for having the opportunity to make a global difference with my investment choices.
I choose fair-trade products because I believe in fair living wages not only locally, but globally too. I invest in clean portfolio funds because I know they are aligned with my values, and am thankful managers listen to stakeholder concerns, provide plans for improvements, and act upon it. Thanksgiving is a special time of the year, and although we get all excited about our giant turkeys, maybe try exploring organic turkey options this year, or have a meatless one, and go vegetarian! Check out 33 great vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes.
Think about everything you purchase. It's an investment choice. One choice can make a huge difference! Thanksgiving isn't the only time to reflect on the precious moments and things we all experience in our lives. One great way to remind ourselves is to ask the question; what am I grateful for today? Even on the darkest days, there is always something and someone to be grateful of.
In the Summer (2015), Kay from the CFUV Women's Radio Collective applied for UVSP sustainability project grant. Here are some of Kay's words on her experience:
I will admit it: this project made me really nervous. When Mexican artist Hector Espinosa asked me to curate a workshop on collective mural painting, including bringing 30 people together with big ideas about social justice and little or no art background, I just didn't know if it was going to work.
Could we all share space, have a dialogue, come up with something cohesive, and share skills fast enough to execute it well? In principle I believe in a world where people can come together to do things like this, but I just didn't know if it would work in the real world.
Maybe we needed more structure, or more time. Would people argue? Would the mural look bad? At the end of the day, I had to have faith in the participants that it was going to be good. And it was. 30 strangers came together, had a 3-hour dialogue in which they talked about how to affect community change through art, came up with a mural design, and shared skills and space beautifully.
Spirits were high as we painted the enormous mural in half the time we had planned. The workshop really helped participants build capacity to change their own communities too: since that day, I have heard of 3 participants who have initiated their own mural painting projects. I came away from this workshop with new-found courage. I learned that it is possible to build sustainable communities across difference when we reach out and believe in each other.
About the Author:
Kay Gallivan is a film, radio, and print journalist who lives and works in Coast Salish/Lekwungen Territories. In 2014 she co-directed the documentary "100 Layers of Beige", a social history of Esquimalt's Trackside Gallery Graffiti wall. This is Kay's third time curating a group mural, having previously curated mural work at Museo de la Ciudad in Ecuador and at the Slide Room Gallery. Kay is currently working on a film project about political graffiti in Mexico and co-curating a speaker series on street art with The City Talks.