I've been musing a lot lately about the environment. How do I make my carbon footprint even smaller? Why won't people change their consumptive habits? When will the government step in? Why does no one seem to care? Will a recession help the environmental movement or hurt it as people race to find cheap goods and maintain their current standard of living?
There are so many questions and so few people even trying to answer them that I am often left at an impasse, depressed, and alone in my quest for simplicity. But tonight, in the midst of my musings I remember that I am a control freak. It is true. I have a strong tendency to want to control things and people. How many times have I tried to no avail to change my parents? To get them to turn off the tele in favor of a good book or conversation? To convince people that this is a problem we need to focus on? And how many times have I been disappointed when my enthusiasm was not enough? My passion and reason were not enough?
I am reminded tonight by that little bit of good sense in my head that the only person I can truly change is myself. I can only make myself ride my bike. I can only buy organic, local food for myself. I can only batten down my own hatches. While this brings me great sadness it is also a tremendous relief. No, remembering this will make me no less of an activist. I will not stop preaching environmental athics as loud and as often as I can. But now I will not feel devalued when someone else decides they do not wish to change their ways. I will not be discouraged by the multitudes who pretend nothing is wrong. I will do my best and leave the rest up to others. That is all I can do.