I’m so fed up with feeling helpless.
Fires are raging in a ring around my town, out of control in most places, and there’s nothing I can do to mitigate them; then I see someone driving by and tapping out glowing ashes from their cigarette. The drought continues, but I see sprinklers running full tilt and faucets running while people chit-chat, wash every dish by hand, or brush their teeth. I read about greenhouse gases and other by-products of our wealthy society (lead poisoning for workers without basic human rights and protections, air quality on the wane with higher instances of lung diseases, lack of clean water for most of the world), but I still see messages in our media advocating life of excess: this gigantic TV, that new shiny car, your huge house, or the best gadget is your goal in life, is your reward for hard work. I see people begging on every street corner in even the extreme heat in these parts, but I keep my eyes forward, hide my $4 latte, and surreptitiously lock my car door.
Careless. Thoughtless. Oblivious.
- Forget the debate about global warming; it’s meaningless and meant to distract you.
- Forget politics and labels like “liberal” and “conservative”, “democrat”, “republican,” or anything else; they can’t capture every nuance of how you feel.
- Forget campaign trails and promises; it’s all empty and can’t be acted upon by one person in our system.
- Forget the news on TV; it’s just advertising revenue and hidden agendas.
Think instead on what you do in your everyday life. Think about its impact. Think outside your sphere and realize that every every action you take affects someone else, near or far.
Decide for yourself about everything you do, and act with confidence.
Yes, people will object. Yes, we will all make mistakes. Yes, some decisions will be hard. Yes, sometimes you need to choose the less convenient path.
I’m tired of feeling helpless. I’m tired of feeling like a hypocrite. I’m tired of it all. And I need everyone’s help.
Actually, that’s a lie. Your children—nieces, favorite pets, or anyone else who might out-live you—need your help. You and I won’t be around to enjoy the benefits of cleaner air and water, of fewer people living in abject poverty, of the peace that comes with seeing that when we all give a damn about each other, we can all have a pretty effing great time on this planet.
I’m not asking anyone to love everyone. I’m just asking one person to love someone outside their tiny little sphere.