Going along with all my goal talk and organizing speeches, you are probably starting to wonder if I’ve been snatched by aliens and replaced by a goal striving, neaten up freak. Believe me, I’ll be better by February. But in the meantime, and since I have to speak tonight, I wanted to share something I read on Tuesday in an email and have been thinking about ever since. It all sort of rolled into listening to President Obama’s inauguration speech and his call to all of us to do more and a conversation I overhead.
(See it is me. The eavesdropping writer who listens to other peoples’ conversations. I haven’t been snatched. Aren’t you so relieved?)
You see there I was in waiting around before school let out and two moms were talking and one of them said, “Well, I hardly see what I can do. One person. I don’t know what he is thinking, that an individual can change the world.” Then she made that huffy, harrumph noise I love using in my books. Now her cynicism stopped me, for I was in a sort of euphoric haze all day, believing that our world could be a better place. And yet there it was, stark and cold. It was like being dashed with a bucket of cold water. What can one person do? That is until I got these words from Lou Tice, of the Pacific Institute later the same day:
Each of us needs to look for solutions to the challenges around us, no
matter how small. If you walk past the small things, you will never be in a
position to make a bigger difference. We also deny the opportunity for the
“ripple effect” to go to work. You know the ripple effect: drop a pebble in
a pond and watch the ripples moving out from where you dropped the pebble.
Eventually these ripples touch every part of the pond.
Don’ t you want to touch the entire pond? Apparently you can. You just have to try. Now if I can just find that woman and drop her in the lake . . .