As Jane Goodall has said, “Why should I bother to think about my ecological footprint if I don’t think that what I do is going to make a difference? Why not eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die?” That is the question. Why not just eat, drink and be merry? After all, most people seem to be doing just that despite the in-your-face evidence of a planet that is degrading at an accelerating rate. But if you’ve landed here, it means you just can’t pretend everything is fine while the Earth, literally, goes up in smoke. Even if you wanted to. Because you can’t unlearn what you have learned. And you see what others don’t. Business as usual feels lousy.
I can’t say this column will make you feel most excellent. But it will keep you company and hopefully fill up your reserves. Finding one’s tribe, community, and meaning that is larger than self is key to living in the Anthropocene. So is action, purpose, resolve, stepping up and (warning, I’m going to say it), leaning in. Do you need hope in order to think your grain of sand contribution will help save the human species? I don’t act because I am hopeful (but you sure can). I act out of a moral obligation. I have no idea if what I do will somehow make a meaningful impact. Whether I have hope, lose it, or try to get it back does not matter. What does matter is to have resolve. So off we go. Let it be resolved that no matter what ultimately transpires for humanity, we were committed members of the tribe that fought hard to keep the wings from completely falling off the spiraling ecosystem.
P.S.: Goodall clearly bothers. And thinks she can make a difference. Just like us (winky-faced emoji).
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