I was reminded today of how important our everyday interactions are and how far positive ripples of action can travel.
A woman stopped me in the middle of my local town today. She profusely thanked me for inspiring her and lifting her spirits over 20 years ago.
I was living in Brisbane then and starting the Northey Street City Farm. At the time, she was young and homeless, and getting into trouble. A social worker had brought her to volunteer at the city farm and in doing so she found her passion and purpose. She told me that she had loved what I shared with her about community gardening, no-dig gardening and permaculture - it transformed her life.
Ever since we met decades ago, she said she has been gardening and passing on the gift around the world - particularly working with poor remote villages throughout south east Asia. There was the sparkle of purpose in her eyes - the kind of twinkle you see when you know someone loves what they do.
My kids were with me, listening to her telling me how I was responsible for turning her life around. They looked so proud. I try to share with them the idea that everything they do counts and has an impact - so make it a good one. The power of them witnessing someone sharing the impact of positive action, is a far more profound lesson than me telling them to 'choose to make a positive impact'.
I thanked the woman profusely in return for sharing her journey with me. It's not often that I actually see the deep impact of my work - beyond the initial responses from workshop participants. This type of heartfelt feedback gives me renewed excitement in what I do and a new layer of meaning.
Such an encounter, is also a reminder to keep sharing my knowledge and passion freely - the power of good ideas comes from them rippling out rather than being held tight.
|Teaching people how to simply and affordably create a abundant and sustainable food gardens is what I love to do.|
Labels: community gardens, gift economy, permaculture, work