All around us an environmental storm rages. It hurls pollution, plastic riddled oceans, deforestation, vanishing flora and fauna, soil degradation….the typing of these ailments makes my fingers tremor with anxiety. And all the while we are battered with the suffocating volume of what we should be doing. Yes, our planet is weeping and the writing is on the wall if we continue with current ways. But often shielding ourselves in a cloak of despair can seem the only way to maintain some sanity through it all. We wail, “What can I alone possibly do?!” The tasks seem monumental and the sands in the hourglass seem scant yet left to their own devices, despair and ‘lack of doing’ become very happy bed fellows.
Then there is hope. Hope lies quietly beneath all the raging. Waiting, just waiting. Watered with even the tiniest of actions it springs to life and let’s its leafy tendrils inspire further change. It grows. There is no perfect solution to the myriad of harm we inflict on this planet, nor one solitary place or being to point that blaming finger at. But we can not be consumed with despair; complacency is an evil thorn. Small, everyday, actionable changes can collectively grow to make vast change. A juggernaut that inspires others (most importantly, our children) through action not preaching. It all starts with one change, in one room of our house, in one facet of our lives.
You could start in the kitchen. Or the laundry. Or perhaps the bathroom holds the very first step for you and your family. Perhaps your skincare could be viewed with a different lens. Or maybe consider the food you consume – how it’s grown, packaged or transported to you. One single, positive switch in your grocery haul could be the first step on your path of hopeful change. Imagine if your journey could all start with simply reducing a small amount of your food waste. Greet this change with compassion and empowerment. Accept those things that can not be changed; let them rest quietly in a cocoon of forgiveness. Their time may yet come.
And when you’ve experimented with that first change, fine tuned it, mastered it. When it’s become a second nature moment to your day, find another one to welcome in. And then another, and another.
Let us not hide our eyes in the folds of despair’s skirts. Let us embrace the hope of actionable small changes.