Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Out of Africa

My niece told me, after living in an African country for six years, that she had finally adjusted to the local custom of using the description “fat” as flattery. She talked about how locals would call out to her that she was looking especially fat today, and she was expected to answer with thanks and to assure them that they, too, appeared extremely fat. Here in America, life is good, and I can truly say, without fear of contradiction, that I am, indeed, looking unusually fat in the new year.

I think a lot about all the many resources I figuratively gobble up, and feel guilty as I drive to work each day, even though there is nothing I can do about it at the moment. It would not be safe for me to walk to work (trust me on that one) and there are no available car pools for my schedule (thank goodness for that, I really hated car pooling . . . the nightmare experience with never-ready-Mindy will remain with me forever!)

But it has dawned on me that I am wasting my eco-energies on things I can’t change, instead of addressing the areas I can.And so, my fat. It may not save the world for me to eat more sensibly, by which I mean not only more locally but also more sparingly, but it surely would not hurt.

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