I finished Allen Shawn's book "Schoenberg's Journey" today. I was struck by the force inherent in someone acting with integrity in support of his beliefs. I am not a driven man or a genius, but it occurs to me I can be more focused in my small ways.
I like to set goals. I work well when I work steadily from task to task. Tonight I will record 12 changes I want to achieve
in the coming year to make a tiny difference.
1. For the time period May 2007 to May 2008, I want to cut mileage driven in my car by 20%. I believe in the goal of reducing dependence on foreign oil, and in particular oil purchased from undemocratic regimes and in further particular regimes which persecute religious minorities and subjugate the rights of women.
I drive a fairly sensible car, but I have a long commute. I also love to do leisure driving. In May I will celebrate the second anniversary of my current car. My goal is for my May 2007 to May 2008 mileage to be 80% of the average of the mileage for the prior two years. This will be a rough analog to the 20% reduction in oil consumption.
2. I want to organize a cultural event during 2007, such as a folk concert, an experimental music show, or a chamber trio. I live in a suburb which has some such events, but not nearly enough. I'd like to sponsor some event that gives local people a chance to see something different--and perhaps in general give kids something to do.
3. I want to take a concrete step to promote animal adoption in my area. I don't know if I have in mind a youtube video with interviews of local people, a sponsored radio spot on animal adoption, or merely pitching in with a local group. I feel that this is a cause I might could help through promotion and marketing in some way.
4. I want to sponsor two or more inexpensive chess tournaments in the coming year, as my area needs more activities which are oriented towards grassroots community game play.
5. I want to purchase more food for the local food bank's container at the nearby grocery store. I want this to become a regular activity.
6. I want to take concrete steps to promote Creative Commons music releases in my area, to make available to people who do not have substantial resources access to the wealth of great free material available from netlabels. I want to make substantial efforts to become involved in the netlabel movement.
7. I want to "adopt" a nearby school, perhaps in rural Collin County, and do small but useful things to help that school improve.
8. I plan to join the Trinity Trail Assocation, the non-profit that maintains my favorite local hiking trail, and pitch in on trail maintenance.
9. I want to make a youtube video about a social concern, and continue to make youtube videos to promote artists I like.
10. On a personal note, I want to sensibly work my weight down this "last" ten pounds, as I tend to hover in a range from three to ten pounds from my goal, and I'd like to achieve and maintain my goal.
11. I want to reach out to people a bit more than I do,and be a bit more outgoing.
12. I want to use the whimsical foundation I created called the Feeder Guppy Rescue League, and turn it into a light-hearted but useful platform about consumerism and respect for threatened species.
None of this is earth-shattering. A fair bit of it may be fatuous or self-aggrandizing. But it's a simple set of goals for this year, and I aim to achieve them.