Embracing the plant-based lifestyle in Malaysia

What Veganism Means To Me

What Veganism Means To Me

A few months ago, I watched ‘How To Change The World‘, a documentary about the beginnings of Greenpeace, what a beautiful thing it was born as, and how a divide between its pioneers came to be due to differing principles and values for the same cause. It was fair, tragic, and necessary all at once. It was a perfect example of how the complexity of the human condition can affect the achievement of a common goal, no matter how well-meaning it is. In fact, with most of the causes I’ve been involved in, I have bore witness to the magic of community cooperation, as well as human dynamics interfering in detrimental ways.

I’m coming close to reaching my second year of living out a plant-based lifestyle and my honest view so far of  veganism is: it’s one of the simplest ideas in the world, made complicated because of diversity. A cause like veganism can bring about clarity and murkiness, peace and total chaos. It’s a fascinating thing to observe outside and within me.

I have had some insightful conversations with friends lately about the plant-based lifestyle, which have compelled me to make a video about my own approach to it. It is in hopes of bringing positivity to my community, and also serve as a strong reminder to myself on what this journey is about on a personal level.

Even though the aspect of health resonates largely with me now, I was drawn to veganism through kindness. I find kindness to be one of the most underrated traits of human nature. Those few bad apples in society motivate parents to teach their kids to not talk to strangers, apartments with multiple levels of security make it awkward for us to talk to neighbors in the lift, the demanding pace of work in urban environments rob us of all the time we have, commuters busy replying to emails, or using that only free time they have to themselves to interact on social media, not realizing that there is an old person standing in front of them who would appreciate that seat more than they do. Acts of compassion make it in the news. It’s hot stuff, it goes viral. It is labelled as ‘inspiring’. The reason why most things go viral is because of abnormality. It’s unusual, hard to come by. How did deeds of compassion become a rarity? And when did hearing about an inspiring act truly motivate us to do kind deeds ourselves? Do we even have time to be kind?

I suppose that is why I have been cultivating the most peace within myself since becoming a vegan: it has reminded me to stay kind. The kindness I practice through my eating habits resonates throughout all other everyday actions. It is a constant teacher of compassion.

The state of mindfulness does not exclude the understanding that everyone thinks and feels differently. Every single person is special and on their own journey and growing in their own time. I sometimes find it difficult to connect, to appreciate, even to respect that, when other personalities and decisions don’t harmonize with mine. And I acknowledge that it’s part of the quiet curriculum of life.

Noone has it easy. But Compassion is the Gift we have to help us get by a little better, and together.

Gosh, I didn’t expect this post to be so ranty. If you have reached this part, thanks so much for hearing me out, I am grateful for being able to connect with you, and you are more than welcome to share your thoughts and feelings with me too.

Wishing Kindness to and from Us all.

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