Podcast 28/52 – Stewardship, not disruption

I’ve not followed Brain Pickings a lot, but now and again I stumble upon something coming from that site, and it’s almost always magnificent. Making me wonder, kick-starting my curiosity and often being very inspirational. Then I listened to Maria Popova of Brain Pickings in a conversation with Krista Tippett from On Being.

Guess what happened after I was finished listening? I pressed PLAY once more, and took in the entire episode once more. I believe I’ll listen to it over and over again. Because there’s so much interesting stuff in this podcast, beautiful sentences, phrases, stories about Marias grandparents, and much else. It’s hard to pick out one or two things, because it’s truly an episode worth listening to in full.

But the sentence below, which is a quote by a friend of Marias, really hit home. Perhaps because I’ve been talking about the need for personal stewardship with a friend of mine. How it’s a word, and an activity, that we seem to have forgotten, I believe.


Sitting here looking at that quote ”Culture needs stewardship, not disruption”, my mind took a leap. To cultivation itself. To the no-dig no-till practice of cultivation put in use by Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser, that I got so enthralled by in the Peak Prosperity podcast. They explained how disruptive it is for soil structure, and hence, for soil-living creatures such as a majority of all wild pollinators, when we dig, till and uproot plants from the ground. They work with nature, rather than against it, and boy, are they rewarded!

There’s more for me to discover here, I can sense it lurking just beneath the surface. So I’ll sit with it, letting it take its time. Sooner or later it will emerge. I won’t try to dig for it, because that would likely just disrupt the process.

Does this quote evoke anything in you?

Podcast 18/52 – slow money while foraging

Today, as I was riding my bike home from singing with my choir in the church this morning, I stopped to pick stinging nettles and ground-elder. I am filling my freezer with quickly blanched nettles and ground-elder, to savor during the winter. And of course I am using the green gold on a weekly basis at home right now as well (green smoothies, pies and lots of other things).

nettles and ground-elder

So as I was picking I listened to Woody Tasch from Slow Money on Peak Prosperity, a podcast I’ve blogged about before. A lot of the episodes are way above my capacity, as it’s centered around economics, and I’m neither interested or knowledgeable about economics, I willingly admit. But this was really interesting. Slow Money is sort of the investment equivalent to Slow Food. In the words of the organization itself:

Slow Money catalyzes the flow of capital to local food enterprises and organic farms, connecting investors to the places where they live and “bringing money back down to earth”.

There’s been two episodes recorded with Woody, but I listened to the most recent one, from 2014, so scroll down a bit on the page to find it. 

And possibly, the reason this episode was right up my alley is perhaps because:

This is about culture. This isn’t about economics. It’s about what’s more important, economics or culture? And guess what? In the United States, we have spent the last hundred years proving to ourselves that economics is much more important than culture. 

And yes. It’s very deliberate that Woody speaks about culture, the word that both brings with it images of tilling the land, growing food and other useful plants, as well as the customs of the society I live and work in. And for me, it’s not an issue I have to think long and hard upon. Culture is more important that economics. Economics is a part of culture, and the culture within the economic system is part of the problem for sure. So there’s a challenge for us, to change that culture. That’s part of the reason why Peak Prosperity exist in the first place.

What’s more important for you? Culture or economics?

Boys and girls

Boys and girls. Blue versus pink. Cars against dolls. Rowdy or mild-tempered. How we almost expect a teenage boy to have scruffy clothes and stink of sweat, while we would be horrified if it was a teenage girl. Excusing certain behavior with ”boys will be boys”, while expecting girls to help fellow boys in Kindergarten put on gloves, tie their shoes and zip up jackets.

I could go on forever, listing things, habits, colors and much more, that for some reason have been deemed either to be for boys. Or for girls. Men and women too, of course.

I don’t want to do that though.

What I want to do is have you read this article: 10 Words Every Girl Should Learn. And once you’ve done that, you read this article as well: Beating the Toy Aisle Blues (and Pinks).

Read them?

I read them, and went bonkers. Then I stumbled upon this as well:


Oh. I just remembered another example of the absurd world we live in, as well. I read another article (or a Facebook-update?) the other day, about a lady who had stopped moving over whenever she came upon people when walking, to see what would happen. Guess what she found out? Women move over. Men do to. But not all of them. I think she was up to a count of having collided with 26 men (and zero women), when she shared her observation with the world. And you know what? I actually tried it out the other day, when I was talking a walk in the park close to home. I was walking along, came upon a man coming at me, and I suddenly got it into my head to try it out for myself! We would have collided if he hadn’t moved, which he did, in the last instant. I am grateful for him for moving over, but what I found most interesting was how uncomfortable it felt NOT to move over. Extremely uncomfortable.

So. There I go. I am a person who moves over. Which in itself is not a bad trait, not at all. But it’s interesting, the feeling I got when I didn’t. When I was hell bound on standing my ground so to speak. Makes me think about my own behavior, how much of it which is truly Me, and how much is culturally accepted behaviors I’ve learnt the hard way, which might, or might not, serve me, but which I perform automatically, without giving it any thought. Makes me think of the way of the world, and the culture I am a part of co-creating on a daily basis, moment by moment.

Oh well. There’s plenty do to in the world, to make it a better place, a place where I can be me. Regardless of what that means (within moral and legal constraints of course – unless the law is discriminating itself, which unfortunately is the case in many places where for instance homosexuality is outlawed, just to name but one absurd example). Being me. And a place where you can be you. Period.

So. Here’s a challenge (or rather, many!). For me. Definitely. But perhaps also for you? I’m gonna observe my surroundings for a few days, to see if I can spot this:



Leave my body alone!

It’s not news. It’s not surprising. It’s not something I haven’t heard about and known about since forever. But still, here’s a great reminder that we are going in the wrong direction when it comes to body ideals, and what messages we are sending to our selves and our children:

Jean Kilbourne inspires me to question the way I perceive the world around me. And since I also believe I create the world and the culture I live in, together with everybody else, I will take care of what I help to create, each and every day.

What’s the message you take from this?