This week, we are stepping back to take a closer look.
At a gathering last Thursday to celebrate 10 Years of Green Drinks, it became clear that we have come a long way and we have a long way to go.
We heard about trees and transport, waste and water, fish and families, diversions and diversity, pollution and plant-based diets, glass and goals in talks by Merrin Pearse, Paul Zimmerman, Andy Cornish, Fern Ngai, Bobsy Gaia, Gavin Coates, Bess Hepworth and Fiona Donnelly with a special video appearance from co-founder Jaqui Dixon. All presentations (including mine) are available for your viewing pleasure in the HK Green Drinks group.
As our need for connection evolves over time, the evening served as a perfect reminder of my own purpose — nurturing positive energy in Hong Kong.
Community is in my DNA. Growing up in the middle of nowhere, we provided basic emergency services to each other. I remember when I was young and all of the local farmers pulled their combines out of the fields and risked a whole year’s income during the precious few days of harvest to take my bachelor uncle’s crops off. A neighbour had noticed him stopped as he drove past on the way home for lunch and seen that the swather was still running in the same place when he returned an hour later. The fabric of his new coveralls had caught in the drive shaft and trapped him there. I still recall him cursing those new coveralls, usually content to wear his grease-stained, ragged old favourites. A leg was lost (below the knee) but a life was saved that day because someone was paying attention. I remember the compassion and the communion among the women who showed up at our house with heaps of home-cooked, home-grown food and stayed around the clock to feed the crews until the job was done.
It was a life where we looked out for each other all the time. The next house was a mile away, 2 one-room schoolhouses held 30 students for grades 1-6 a couple of miles across the lake, high school was 16 miles west and the city was 16 miles north. We organized all of our own social events in the local school that doubled as the community hall for picnics, dances and talent shows. Every birth, wedding and holiday was celebrated pot luck in the church basement with local entertainment from few girls singing Country Roads accompanied by yours truly on the piano. The tractor was pulled out regularly to pull a someone out of the ditch and no one would ever consider driving past a stopped car on a remote highway at -40C. There were no strangers.
While my existence today doesn’t reflect the same kind of life-and-death situations, I recognize how much of my life force is fueled by sharing a purpose with passionate, intelligent, thoughtful, caring people. Surrounded by criticism and problems and gloom and doom, I find it essential to surround myself with friends who are also determined to make a positive difference in our world.
Finding our people in Hong Kong is a key to happiness. As part of my contribution to the celebration last week, I shared my (still relevant) vision for Hong Kong from 2003 and compiled a guide to HK Conscious Communities with a few tips to grow your own.
Doing good to feel good is an easy shortcut to balance when living a life in the fast lane.
Having taken the time to step back and look at the bigger picture, see familiar faces, share fresh ideas and make new friends, I feel rejuvenated and more supported than ever. The next step is my annual Natural Holiday Guide (see last year) … coming shortly.
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Events in our community this week
23 (6-9pm) Raw Chocolate Evening | Food Linkers | details
24 (7-10pm) Mother’s Choice Fundraising Dinner | Eloquence HK | details
25-27 Clockenflap | details
Dec 2 Community Caroling
Dec 3 Plasmatic
Dec 3-4 Treasure Island 20th Anniversary Luau
Dec 10 Fish for Trash
Dec 10 Ark Eden’s 10th Anniversary Party
Dec 10-11 Southside Urban Retreat
Dec 17 The Great Big Clothing Drive
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