Coffee Social was no laughing matter this week. Well, actually, we did laugh, but we also attempted to tackle a huge issue: How to save the world.
I suppose first off, you have to believe the world needs saving. It seems most of us can agree that there are some pretty pressing issues confronting our country and the planet at large: climate change, wealth disparity, health care, and, of course, water, to name a few. Despite the polarizing nature of our media, I believe that fundamentally most everyone wants the same thing. Be you Republican or Democrat, Christian or Atheist, we all wish for a safer world for our children, a healthy lifespan for our parents, and a sense of security and purpose in our own lives. How we choose to express these desires can vary widely.
Second, you need to believe that saving the world is possible. I suppose “saving” is the wrong word, but you know what I mean. The planet will have no problem going on without us, but what a shame it would be to squander this blessed life on Earth. Reverence and gratitude for the planetary abundance that makes our life not only possible, but beautiful, should be our daily mantra.
And there again, the media comes into play. A story is newsworthy typically because it is unusual and frightening. As animals, we humans have evolved to look for danger. But we were never meant to be barraged by the woes of the entire world. In this age of global communication, we are continuously inundated with the negative. But if you switch your intake over to the positive, there is much hope to be found.
They may not garner as much air time, but there are people everywhere working hard to make a difference. Some of these actions are small, local efforts to turn a lawn into a food forest or divert laundry water to your landscape. Some are epic in scale, like the integration of rooftop solar, cutting-edge batteries and electric cars. Do they both matter? I believe they do.
If fear and hope are two sides of the same coin, then I propose that hope is our best ally. When fear is small, it can lead to quick action. (Grab the baby before she steps on the snake.) But when the danger is too large to comprehend, fear most often leads to inaction; a proverbial “throwing in the towel.” And that is not what we need at this pivotal moment in time. We need “all hands on deck.” And as any good leader will tell you, hope is how you inspire that type of mass participation. (Who wants to keep bailing if there is no hope for keeping the boat afloat?)
Large initiatives will be required to get this job done, but each small action will spark the hope necessary to keep us all moving forward. Participate in any way you can, and believe in your heart that saving the planet is both possible and worthwhile.
Published May 28th, 2015
And remember…. “Our dreams are big…our hopes high…our goals long-term…and the path is difficult. But the only failure is not to try.” – Jimmy Carter