Cousin Maura and Walking the Walk

Read about Maura's mission trip to Honduras further down in this post and on her blog.

Read about Maura's trip to Honduras further down in this post and on her blog

Meet my younger cousin Maura… (I point out that she is younger because it is a rare distinction given that I myself am the youngest in my family of 9 children…)  I can actually remember when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Maura’s famous reply was that she wanted to “be a lightbulb!” We thought it was funny and silly. Now that I’m older and just a bit wiser, I think Maura may have met her “lightbulb” goal, metaphorically speaking at least…

Among other things, Maura is the moderator of the Freecycle board in her area south of Boston… Hats off to you, Maura! Clearly, Maura is involved with a worthwhile and active community… She posted about my pre-launch efforts and I unexpectedly experienced quite the spike in visitors! I feel strongly that those who will lead the movement to more socially and environmentally responsible life choices in the suburbs are those same people who support the Freecycle movement. So, I think it’s a topic worth revisiting even though I blogged about Freecycle and Craig’s List way back in May when I started this weblog… Here’s my original post for what it is worth…(Bear in mind this was way back in May of 2008 – hahaha – and I knew little of blogging skills like linking to other sites – oh my!).  Better yet, just check out the sites (FreeCycle and Craig’s List) directly for yourself!

I’m surprised by how many people DON’T know about Freecycle yet… (“Free-what? Re-cycle? Oh, FREEcycle… What’s that?”) I hope to help change that with the new business…

I also hope that maybe we could even encourage some of the Craig’s List free stuff posters to be a bit more respectful of time and the environment by at least frowning upon those who post things like “don’t email me or call me… It’s on the curb, first come first served!” I have visions of too many people spending time, gas money, as well as wasting the gas to go to the location to find the desired items have been taken already. What a silly waste of time and unnecessary increase to that scary “carbon footprint” (that so many on Freecycle and Craig’s List are try to avoid) related to the reuse of the item(s) being freecycled. Note to self: Add emailing “Craig” regarding my concern. Don’t Laugh! Craig’s List founder Craig Newmark would likely be receptive, as he is a good guy by all accounts and cares about more than maximizing profits. Here’s a bit from an interview he gave to

Craig Newmark: We’re trying to basically just make enough to pay the bills. We don’t think we should try to make as much money as we could. Nothing pious about this, but how much money does a human need?

Bankrate: And that’s why you turned down lucrative offers for the company?

Craig Newmark: We’re not anti-commercial, we’re not pious, it’s just that … I ascribe it to nerd values, that say, “Hey, if we’re making a comfortable living, after that it’s a lot more satisfying to change the world a little.” And we get a lot of feedback that says we are changing the world just a little.

No time to ramble on (like I haven’t already?!) but I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage anyone reading this (those of you who aren’t coming from Maura’s site) to go to her site and take 5-10 minutes to see Maura’s post about her trip to Honduras.

By sharing her smile (which lights up her whole face ~ must be the “lightbulb effect”), her heart and her time, like so many who go on mission trips, Maura and those like her are creating a positive footprint relative to “mankind helping mankind” in the global community. Know that I’m not sharing these Maura’s trip to make anyone, myself included, feel guilty about not taking that level of action. (Guilt is right up there with stress on my “wasted emotions” list ~ focusing on making positive changes is far more productive). I share Maura’s trip to Honduras because I think it is worthwhile to know that those folks who go on mission trips and other service-related activities (like City Year ~ I’ve heard CEO speak twice, Americorps, the Peace Corps and the like) themselves report being forever changed in their own lives, their sense of gratitude for what they have and their sense of stewardship to Fellow Man and Mother Earth. (I completely support the concept of encouraging a mission-driven year for all young people ~ there’s tons of info on that topic out there! A post topic for another day…)

Oops, just when I promised not to ramble on… Bottom line (or should I say, triple bottom line), by increasing awareness and activity, I just know Time Well SpentTM will bring a growing sense of meaning, purpose and richness to the lives of all it touches… It is that sincere belief that keeps me on track (if you can call my crazy sense of zig-zaggin-all-over-the-map-reign-it-in-and-forge-forward thought process a track).

Back to work… Taking some books over to the temporary space and trying to comb through what I have to determine what I might sell at the local fleamarket to try to cover the rent for September… But that’too is a topic for another post, another day… 

Until next time, here’s to the lightbulbs of the world, like Cousin Maura and Craig Newmark… Now, what do you want to be when you grow up? N.


One response to “Cousin Maura and Walking the Walk

  1. Nancy, I have tears in my eyes from laughing at the light bulb!

    I have no recollection of expressing that desire, but since it has been told to me by cousins, siblings and parents for over 30 years it must be true.


    I’m glad you brought it up. A few years ago I got Oscar a t-shirt from a Christian store that had a figure of a person strolling past a huge bright light bulb and said “Walk in the Light, for He is There”.

    Hmmm….. maybe I was being prophetic with my gravely deep voice back in the day. I know your site isn’t religious, but I’m pretty Thumpy, so I offer this: 1 John 1:5-7

    Guess that would be the mission statement for the nonprofit I’ll start now that I’m inspired by my OLDER cousin (grin).

    (family side bar: I’m the youngest cousin on both sides of my family and at Glenn’s next birthday I I’ll be the only one under 40)

    p.s. thanks for sharing the Honduras pics. =)

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