I am insignificant. What can I do? I’m nobody. No one listens to me. Heck, hardly anyone even comes to my blog! Why should I bother? I may as well give it up. There are six billion people on the planet, and I am only one. I can’t make a difference.
Oh yeah. So easy to be defeatist. So easy to throw in the towel. So easy to go with the stream, because one little fish swimming against the current isn’t going to do any good at all.
What am I talking about? Everything. Nothing. The problems of the world around us seem insurmountable. There are earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, floods, and drought. There are oil spills, rainforest clearcuts, and endangered species. Politics is a sham, no matter which side of the coin you rest on. Need I go on?
I am one person. I cannot solve the world’s problems. I do not have the power to halt the forces of nature or the boardrooms of BP. It’s easy to become depressed or immune.
What can I do? Very little, it’s true. But I haven’t been ‘called’ to the big things. All I can do is be faithful in the little things. The things in my path. The choices I make, by themselves, don’t make a big difference to the Earth as a whole. Even if all of my friends united and made changes together, we’re still only a teensy, miniscule school of fish. Swimming upstream. Floundering.
Ah, but I do make a difference. The difference may not be noticed ten miles from home, but here, in my sphere, my choices do have an effect. A big change we’ve made in the past few years is to garden more and source a higher percentage of local food. You may look at that and say, “How nice for the Comer family.” “I can’t do that.” “I live in an apartment.” “My family would rebel.” “Nobody grows food where I live.” “Who cares?” Or….fill in the blank.
So your contribution, your “one little thing” may be different than mine. That’s okay. We’re not meant to be clones. We’re unique individuals with our own talents, opportunities, and contacts.
The question is, what are you doing to make the Earth itself a better place? What impact are you having? What is YOUR “one little thing”? And once it has become a way of life, what is the next little thing you can add? Not to save the planet, but to enrich your own surroundings, your home and community.
Because you know what? There are ripples. And the power of one becomes the power of several. We just have to start somewhere. Pick a spot, and toss a pebble.
A very timely post, Val. Especially on the political scene, I've been feeling very overwhelmed lately. I suspect that's just one item — there are more, smaller ways where I've wondered, but you have reminded me the power of acting locally.
Your local food efforts have raised my personal awareness of local food. I haven't done anything on the scale you've been doing (to me, your "small" efforts are huge), but raised awareness holds the potential of something more. And that's the ripple effect you're talking about. So your impact is greater than ten miles from where you live, because I'm at least a couple of thousand miles away.
Thanks, Jean. I appreciate your comment about my ripple effect. I'm glad I've been able to toss a few pebbles in various directions and help some new ripples to grow. The fact remains that I'm not changing THE world, only changing MY world. But that is not as insignificant as it seems.
Nicole O'Dell says
Thanks, Nicole 🙂
Sharon Cousins says
Ripples don't end, Val. They always go further than we can know. You do change THE world. We all do, just about every day. But if those ripples are clean and sweet as yours for the first ten miles, how can they be anything else as they go the distance? Nice post. Nice life. Go Val!
Aw, thanks, Sharon. I guess I've tossed a few pebbles into other ponds, too, but others have kept the ripple going. You're doing the same, with an even wider ripple spread. You go, too!