As I look out from under the deadlines and phone messages, I find it hard to stay positive that my work is making a difference. Is anyone listening? Am I just adding to the background noise that blinds us from making this moment in time the point at which we come together as a nation to be great?
“Development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
-source: United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development
I have heard of the incredible stories of innovation and determination that were experienced after Pearl Harbor. The entire country re-tooled, pulled on their boots, and did what needed to be done. I remember back on 9/12 the tremendous change in our community. After the malicious attacks the day before, time stopped, we cried, we acknowledged our neighbors, we celebrated our country, we joined together to defend our nation. When Hurricane Katrina hit, the nation stood still watching, praying for courage and survival. As I traveled down Interstate 59 in the days following the storm, I was changed forever seeing others doing the same thing I was doing, with American Flags flying and care in their hearts for strangers they have never met before.
I am once more changed, sitting here at my desk wondering why it takes disaster, violence, immediate destruction to bring us together as a proud country.
It is time to come together as a community, as a state, as a nation to make a positive change. I understand that you don’t want to give up any opportunity in front of you now. I understand that you have worked hard to get the things in life that you have earned. I just want your kids and my kids to have those same opportunities. I want us to make decisions, painful or not, that will benefit the next generation, not just the current. It is time to look at the bigger costs involved in the decisions we are making today.
Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.
-Milne, A.A. The House at Pooh Corner: New York, Dutton Juvenile, 1988
Look for an event next week as we approach Earth Day to plug in and listen, learn, then go and make a positive change. It is so easy to cut your energy use by 10%, to reduce your water consumption by 5%, to reduce your waste output by 50%. You will not even notice the sacrifice made, but you will see the economic benefits. All you need to do is ask questions. All you have to do is look toward the future, to others, all you have to do is think about a better way. If you always take the easy way out – “because that is the way we always do it” – I fear that we are never going to find our way out of this mess.