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January 13, 2012 Elephant

I Believe in elephant.

A guest editorial.

We have seven billion people on this planet, but the world gets smaller every single day.

Some people say that all this technology is pushing us farther apart. We’re plugged in, but we’re disconnected. That hasn’t been my experience at all. If anything, it’s helped the world get smaller. It's rare anymore that I meet someone (online or off) and don't already have a friend in common.

About six years ago I glanced at a magazine while shopping at Whole Foods. Looked interesting. Yoga? Check. Eco-friendly? Check. Unpretentious, irreverent, hip, fun? Check. Plus, I’ve always been a sucker for anything with elephants—been collecting them since I was little. So I bought it, enjoyed it and then tucked it away somewhere to be forgotten.

A little over a year ago, a Facebook friend posted a link to elephantjournal.com. I didn’t make the leap to connect it with the print magazine right away, but immediately fell in love. I read my few free articles a day, and then called it quits when the member page popped up. But I started saving pages for the next day. I started commenting on posts. I became a subscriber. I clicked on the Write page, and thought, “Hmmm…maybe someday I’ll submit something.” Someday rolled around, and I did!

Writing for elephant journal (you can, too) isn’t like writing anywhere else. Becoming an elephant writer is a little like moving into a freshman dorm. You’re excited to be there, but nervous. There are rules, but then there’s a lot more freedom than you’re used to as well. You look around at the juniors and seniors on campus in awe, but after awhile, they take you under their wings and show you where all the cool stuff is.  You can hang out and do your own thing if that’s your style, but if you look around, you’ll find yourself in the middle of an amazing community.

Yet at the same time, this is no gated community. It doesn’t end with those of us scattered across the globe, logging into Wordpress and spilling our guts to try and make you laugh, or cry or be inspired. That's what's so wonderful about making the world smaller—it pulls us all closer together. I read what Hannah writes, and am inspired to send a belly picture for her Real Body Project. Jamie reads what Waylon and I write, and creates something new of his own. People read about unjust legislation and boycotts and do something instead of just changing the channel. People read about ways they can help, and we all pitch in and change the world, or at least the piece that we can change today.

The thing is, elephant journal isn’t this finite magazine that gets tucked away in the closet and forgotten. It isn’t even just the community of amazing writers, editors, web designers and volunteers. It’s the vegan who sometimes eats junk food. It’s the college student who volunteers to help the homeless. It’s the midwife who’s also in a punk band. It’s the Buddhist who sometimes swears too much. It’s the yoga teacher who used to be a stripper. It's the minister who stands up for gay rights.

It’s everyone who cares enough not to fit into one nice neat little box. It’s you and me. We are elephant. It’s our mindful life.

Yours in working (and playing) to create enlightened society,

Kate Bartolotta
Guest Editor.

~
elephantjournal.com, Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis

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