The Hockey Bag; It’s not just for Equipment

“Enacting one of the nation's most aggressive environmental measures, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to ban plastic grocery bags in unincorporated areas of the county. The ban, which will cover nearly 1.1 million residents countywide, is to the point: "No store shall provide to any customer a plastic carryout bag." Grocers who choose to offer bags will sell them for 10 cents each. Environmentalists hope that the ban will help diminish the 6 billion plastic bags used in LA each year, 1.5 billion of which ends up as "urban tumbleweed" on the street.”

First of all, I am glad to see LA catching up with the times, hopefully other places will follow. Canada has been doing this for a long time…it does work.

I remember Ellen Degeneres telling a contestant on American Idol not to go barefoot in Hollywood because it was a ‘dirty town’. Of course, she meant that in a few ways, but I was horrified to see the amount of pollution on the streets on Los Angeles when I came here. In Canada, we have massive fines for littering and we recycle just about everything we can. People in my neighborhood back home were really into composting too. There are blue bins in my neighborhood, but what you can recycle is really limited. I feel this is an important step to take.

What I couldn’t get over though is how many negative comments were under it. I’ve come to realize that some people are so infested with negativity that they will have something bad to say if the article was about providing fruit and vegetables to children at school. We seem so programmed to be cynical and skeptical of everything. I saw arguments like, “What is the purpose of this ban, why are people so concerned about the environment? What about us seniors who can’t afford these bags?”

I couldn’t believe it. Yes people are short on money, but 10 cents a bag? Oh wow, I can guarantee there are more things in your cart that will clog your arteries that you spent 5 bucks each on. Who doesn’t have some bags at home anyways? I’ve seen Canadians bring in hockey bags to put their groceries in and they are happy to do it. It’s not like we have to go kill our food like the old days! In fact, when you get your food home, you barely have to cook it either. ;)

Yesterday I was talking about positive VS negative thinking. This kind of negativity puts us at a standstill with any solution. There is a saying in one of the companies I work at, “If you have something to complain about, you better have a better solution.”

I see this plastic bag movement as a solution that has been proven to work in other countries. It’s frustrating to simply point out the bad things. It’s like in politics or religion; I tend to not talk about these topics because they are riddled with negativity pointing out negativity with no solutions. I would rather us find ways as a community here to figure out how to be a helpful friend.

The statement, “If you have something to complain about, you better have a better solution.” It’s awesome. Now of course, it’s good to have someone playing Devil’s Advocate to make sure things aren’t being steered in the wrong direction. What I love about it though is that it rewards people who are solution-oriented. I love people who give something some practical thought and then come up with an answer. We spend way too much time just pointing out what is wrong with the other players with no other resolution in its place.

If we don’t have a solution, could we lovingly spur thoughts in others by asking questions which will result in a way out? The statement this person made was not only obstructive, but made a redundant statement suggesting seniors have no money (separate issue, real…should be addressed…but separate nonetheless)

This is happening all the time in our relationships too. We have a hard time staying on topic to come up with solutions. The issue we have with our spouse not spending time with us turns into him also not cutting the grass, taking out the garbage or painting the house. It’s a no win situation.

I am really trying to remember the statement, “If you have something to complain about, you better have a better solution.” It’s been working well. It causes the people within the company to come up with well-presented strategies before presenting them and it’s a huge time-saver. It also keeps everyone’s brains thinking and moving forward which I LOVE!

A person may have an excellent argument for why someone is wrong in their actions, but the person who piped up about the bags costing money still is missing the point that when they get their groceries home, their bag is going in the garbage. The problem will still exist.

My point is to stay on point though. There should be a different meeting about seniors having no money. It’s just like when I blog here, I can’t cover every topic to make sure everyone is happy.

Besides, my brain can only digest a topic at a time. I was in many relationships where a hundred topics would get thrown up in the air. Some would float at the ceiling like a helium balloon and some would crash to the carpet below…none would get resolved.

I keep reminding myself to stay on topic, omit the negative redundant statements that aren’t helpful and try to allow someone to have a solution…encouraging them to be solution-oriented even if they don’t have it worked out completely. Solutions like song-writing happen in stages. Stagnant water will create a film and sludge which is a brand new problem.

Wondering if using that hockey bag is very healthy…oh well…it’s still a step forward, right? ;)
Karen :)

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” ~Native American Proverb

That quote was hijacked and used for so many arguments lately, but I believe they really did mean ‘the earth’ when they said it.

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