Summer is here. I should be happy, carefree. After all, I’m on “vacation.” But I’m not carefree. I’m worried about, well, the world.
Things seem to be going down hill recently. Our choice of candidates (Bad and Worse, take your pick which is which,) home-grown and international terrorism, Brexit, plus a host of other local and international issues are coming together to form the fingers on an unstable hand that is holding an AK to the figurative temple of our world political and financial systems.
Global warming (yes, that is a real thing, I looked it up) is melting the ice caps while toxic green slime takes over no less than four counties in Florida (again, a real thing, despite its remarkable resemblance to a 1950s movie script). Plastic is killing ocean wildlife at a clip that makes the Flash look like a snail on quaaludes. Put these together with fracking and leaking freighters and a host of other issues, and it doesn’t take long to conclude that the ecology of the planet is in imminent danger of reaching a point of no return.
Things aren’t any better on the social front. Internet civility is rapidly devolving into a “who’s louder and meaner” debacle of epic proportions. School districts are implementing policies that contravene state law and common sense. Bullying, despite the anti-bullying hype, does not appear to be going away. People are quicker to judge, and take offense, now than perhaps at any time in history. And I know this isn’t news to anyone, but public shaming has lurched back onto the societal stage like the decaying cultural zombie that it is.
The number of things to worry about increases every day, to the point that sometimes, I feel paralyzed. There are so many problems, most of them not solvable by me (hitherto referred to as NSBM), that I am left with the distinct impression that ALL PROBLEMS are insoluble. Global warming? NSBM. Corruption in Government? NSBM. People who are cruel, but who haven’t done anything actually illegal? NSBM
But I can’t afford to think that way. None of us can. We have kids, grandkids, loved ones of some stripe. And even if we don’t, even if we only need to worry about ourselves, we still have a vested interest in keeping the Earth in one piece prior to our own expiration date.
So what to do? I can’t save the planet or rescue the political system or force society to use its manners, all by myself. But I can recycle. I can vote. I can be kind, even when others are not. Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see in the world.” I can do that.
Don’t let the enormity of the task trick you into doing nothing, just because you can’t do everything. What you can do might be little, and maybe it won’t be enough by itself. But even a small rock, dropped into a large pond, sends out ripples all the way to the edge.