Let Sleeping Dust Bunnies Lie


Jellaluna photo creativecommons.com

I have known that I am allergic to dust for a long time.  When diagnosed it was recommended that I not have carpet or plush in my home, in the bedroom especially.  I was supposed to have vacuuming done twice/week, but I was not supposed to be in the house when it got done.  My conclusion?  Let sleeping dust bunnies lie!  This fits perfectly with the sentiment on the mug my friend owns which says, ” I hate four letter words like: Cook, Bake, Dust, & Wash”  It may seem obvious, but this strategy has never actually helped with my allergies.

Procrastination and justification are great partners!  I could wear a face mask and dust and vacuum more often/but they are so uncomfortable.  Did you see how that worked? Great isn’t it?  Obviously I am willing to live with my allergies and they aren’t so bad that I can’t survive with them.  How often do we look at our dust bunnies (or unpaid bills, or social injustice) and find a way to justify not taking action on the problem?  What would it take, how big does the bunny need to get, to project us into action?

I think there are two types of dust bunnies in our lives.  There are our personal bunnies and the more global societal bunnies.  The global bunnies are the easiest to ignore because they come with the built-in justification of, “What difference can one person make in such a big problem?”  In order to address this isolation issue people who are motivated into action tend to form networks and organizations so that the work is combined and focused.  Organizations like 350.org have brought together people in all the countries of the world to solve the climate crisis.  The blossoming of the internet has gone a long way in making it easier to get involved and be in contact with others with the same focus.

Our personal bunnies are another story.  While we often have only ourselves to blame for inaction on the solution, we are often unable to enlist help or find other people for support.  For abuse victims, for instance, it is hard to convince yourself that you don’t deserve the abuse, let alone gather the courage to seek help.  Letting someone know we are a victim feels like admitting our own weakness and may make them think less of us.

Let’s assume that we all have at least one personal bunny hiding somewhere in our life and one global bunny about which we care particularly.  What one small act can we take which will at least shine light on the dust, perhaps lifting the edge of that rug?  Maybe for your personal issue you might try just telling one person whom you trust that this issue is bothering you. Maybe you could buy a button to wear on your jacket encouraging improvement on the global issue.  Make sure the step is small and then actually take it.  Getting the duster into your hand is the hardest part!

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