Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle

Recycle photo

 Over the years, when things got rough, or when my intellectually oriented friends were trying to get me to get back into college, I had to take a couple of gigs here and there that were office-related. I had this one where I sat at a desk and watched news shows and talk shows and listened to news broadcasts on radio. What you did is note product mentions and any famous people, like politicians or celebrities mentioned as well, and you took notes.

As you might expect, the place was run by, and crawling with spooks. I never got roast beefed, but you’d have to be extra thick not to know who was working that joint. They are so “darn” weird, those Company Joes. When they weren’t prying into my social life or making fun of my preference for bicycles over cars, they were having weird political cake parties where they would try to make each other mad by not inviting each other to partake in some baked good or another. Then they would walk around apologizing to each other for not including each other. It is as weird, ridiculous, and meaningless as it sounds.

Hating on me for my environmentalism was one of their amusements and my coffee cup. I kept it with me and re-used it instead of using plastic ones. It was from a gas station, and I wrote in marker over the logo, “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle”. This was the early 90′s so not only was that a really punk rock thing to do, but it was way before being a greenie was hip and cool like it is now.

I have made a living by re-using old building materials, making art with found items and selling it, fixing things people throw away and selling or trading for things I need or want. This is real, marketable, valuable skill and creativity. It’s not theoretical, or conceptual.

How many people can walk around and pick up a bunch of random stuff, then create something out of it that is useful, durable, and meaningful? It’s magic, man… 3D. That’s what I’m sayin’. It’s mental merging with the physical, an idea manifesting before your eyes, with your hands. It’s vibratory, the whole thing. When you work with your hands in the trades, you are simultaneously the integration of, and the integrator of the mental and the physical. Look how cool you are.

When you think about it like that, it helps you realize that you are involved in the world in a unique way that lends itself to mindfulness. What are you going to create? Where are your thoughts going to take you? Because it all starts in the mind. What is the mark you are going to leave? Is there going to be a debate as to whether what you contributed is negative or positive, or, when people look at what you’ve done, is it going to be 100% clear that it was good, and groovy, and creative, and a net gain?


Photo courtesy of: Intel Free Press