First of all I want to say I am glad to be back here after some encouragement from people on the site that it is not a site simply for Vegans....I am on the journey, just at the occasional fish and dairy point. The education, recipes and warm community spirit is such an important part of this site to me.
I also want to thank Snakewitch for her inspiration.
Many of us are here on this earth recognizing that we have a purpose. Others may not have discovered their purpose, yet are actively searching. Some are just being, experiencing life as they choose. Not everyone is on the same page at the same time. Which is why it is so special when we come across people who are! Whether it be for a moment in time, or a lifetime.
I have spent a good portion of my life both working and volunteering in health, safety & community service roles. I look back and remember when I learned my first gift in those roles. I was young, passionate, and out to "help" the people I was serving. The quickly learned lesson for me, that I carry with me still to this day, is that it is not what I had to give to help, it is what the people I was serving taught ME.
The message translates to teaching about health and educating our brothers and sisters by remembering that sometimes, when we are not all on the same page we can create change by simply planting a seed of change. Some being are simply not ready to create large change in their lives. To them, for example, a simple change of exchanging tofu for chicken or meat one night a week might be a huge step for them! Sometimes leading my example, without words can be incredibly effective. This can be like a magnet! Or perhaps you share a small lunch meal with a coworker, educating them about what you have put together, the amount of calories (always well received...lol). You may find that although the person didn't become a Vegan overnight, subtle changes have occurred in their food plan....wait till you check back on them in ten years!! I have recently implemented this again, through passion in what I believe, with a fellow student....we now have a once a week routine of getting together and cooking and studying...and it all started with sharing my vegie burger/rice/squash lunch.
One time I had a wild hair, asked for time at the regular monthly meeting and created an educational moment. I set up a table of food (mind you I was not on a vegetarian path even at this point....chicken and some meat...it has been a journey...:). I filled the table with a variety of foods, desserts and meals I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole and desserts and meals I would! By each dish I put the calories and a breakdown of ingredients. It created a discussion (step in the right direction...) and AWARENESS!
This can also work with the fitness end of health. When I implemented an exercise program at work for an agency, guess who was the sole individual involved. Me. I had a program for myself and I believed in myself. And I had the motiivation to plant seeds of change. My vision never waivered. Nor did the belief in myself. The fitness team grew, was quite successful and became a top fund raiser for the organization. We became a separate line item on the budget. Ironically, one of the people most opposed to the idea of fitness became the largest supporter, and, to this day, approximately 15 years later, has become a fitness instructor and motivator at the agency.
Please remember, that for many, our greatest change can be made by planting just a seed (not the whole tree) and nurturing with pride and love. Remember, our actions are either based on fear or love. Lead by love.