This month, we celebrate the life of a man who is not only a global icon, but who was deeply human, and who connected to all of us in ways we can only try to emulate.
When Nelson Mandela was released from prison, it wasn’t just physical freedom that he enjoyed after so very long: he was also free to choose the path that he would walk into the years ahead. And, as we all know so very well, he chose to turn his back on hate and recrimination, and instead chose the path of forgiveness, reconciliation, and nation-building. To Madiba, the philosophy of Ubuntu was something he chose to live out with integrity and determination.
While we reflect on his wonderful legacy, something else becomes apparent.
Madiba was a futurist. One of the very first things he did was to create the Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation. As pressing as the immediate concerns of the country were, Madiba knew and understood the value of investing in things that would outlive him. His focus was on the quality of the society – and the world – that his grandchildren would inherit.
Now that’s something worth emulating.
It’s about having a vision for a better tomorrow
At Down To Earth, we do our best to follow Madiba’s example. It’s ingrained in our culture of sustainability, responsibility, and care for others. We do this because we recognise the importance of reducing our environmental footprint, and of providing alternatives to so many products and processes in the world today which are causing irreparable harm to the planet. If we don’t, then we are failing the generations to come.
It sounds easy in theory – but we know it isn’t always that simple. Although Madiba exemplified this way of thinking, we understand that for many people, it’s often tremendously difficult to live a lifestyle that may sometimes seem idealistic and frankly – out of reach. You may not be able to buy organic foods on a regular basis, or there may not be adequate waste recycling options where you are. You might not like certain practices and understand the harm they cause, but at the same time feel powerless to do anything about it.
Adopting an ‘all or nothing’ approach can often leave us feeling frustrated and dispirited. But there is an alternative.
Imperfect is better than nothing at all
The brilliant Maya Angelou famously said: “Do the best you can, until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”
Maybe you can’t do everything right now, but there’s deep wisdom in focusing on what you can do – and then doing it. It’s about a change in mindset, and the understanding that subtle, incremental change is as powerful as revolutionary change.
It’s about deciding – perhaps – to do just one thing every day that will create a positive shift in the world:
- One act of kindness, of giving (even if it’s a sincere smile or compliment) can change somebody’s life and give them new hope and vision.
- Supporting local enterprises and businesses that reflect care for the Earth.
- Choosing to speak out – kindly and wisely where possible – against words and actions that harm others or the environment.
- Looking at value as opposed to just price. What’s the perceived cost of saving a few Rands on a mass-produced product, versus the real cost in damage to the planet caused by reckless commercialism?
- Actions and habits based on kindness and compassion – including what you choose to purchase, to eat, to consume, and who you choose to support.
And, of course, this starts with you. It starts with self-care. How you treat yourself. Listening to the innate wisdom of your body. Drinking enough water. Getting enough quality sleep. Making and eating nourishing, real food. Speaking to yourself with kindness, and loving the skin you’re in.
Once you know better, do better
One of Madiba’s most admirable qualities was his amazing tolerance and willingness to engage with everyone, even those with whom he disagreed. Shouldn’t we be doing the same?
Right now, you know more than you did ten years ago, and you’ve changed for the better.
So, let’s reach out, let’s share the very best qualities we can, and let’s honour Madiba by uplifting everyone we can – in word, in deed, and in the spirit of (re)shaping a better world for everyone.
We care for you, your skin, your family and our planet. So, we will continue to make better choices on a daily basis.
For us that means being committed to offering vegan friendly cruelty free products. It means using locally grown ingredients where possible and tapping into vast reserves of local knowledge and wisdom by enriching our formulations with indigenous African plant extracts, known for their healing properties. It means choosing packaging that is recyclable and conducting our business with transparency and integrity.
What we choose not to do is just as important. We choose not to use potentially harmful chemicals like parabens and petrochemicals. We don’t use synthetic perfumes and sulphates. We don’t test our products on animals.
Down To Earth undertake to support you with products that are convenient, nourishing and practical. It is our intention to save you time and effort, and to give you peace of mind.
Our goal is to simplify your life so that you can spend time with the people who matter most doing the things you love.