OK, I know I'm not living in the dark like No Impact Man, or analyzing every single item I buy like Envirowoman, but still, it does take some work to log in to blogspot, day in and day out, to report my latest "greening". Some days you may notice my posts are slightly less "inspired" than others, but I keep on going? Why? Two reasons: Ethan and Daphne, my kids.
I want to make the world a better place for them. I want them to know that I did what I could to minimize damage to the planet that they and their children and grandchildren will be inhabiting long after I am gone. I also want to teach them how to be better stewards of the earth than I was -- and to take pride in doing so. My greatest joy came a few days ago when you Ethan told me "Mommy, I want we turn that light off because it's wasting 'lectricities".
So when the world's got you down and you're ready to give up the green fight, find your inspiration. For some, it might be watching an environmental flick, like "An Inconvenient Truth" or the recently released "11th Hour". For others, it might be researching global warming, ocean pollution, or water conservation. And for some of you, it might be "the starfish story".
The starfish story seems to be my sister's greatest inspiration. If I'm on my way back from picking up trash on a walk, only to find some jerk tossing a McDonald's cup out his car window, Heather will say "yes, but think how much worse it would be if you hadn't picked up - you know, like the starfish story". When I tell her what a pain in the butt it was to carry out a load of groceries in my arms because I had forgotten my reusable grocery sacks, she reminds me that "those three bags you didn't take DO make a difference -- just like in the starfish story". And when hubby is less than enthusiastic about trying muslin coffee filters, she'll say incredulously "but doesn't he know the starfish story?"
For those of you who may need a little boost of inspiration, I give to you.... The Starfish Story
One day a man was walking along the seashore. He noticed that during the night many seashells and starfish had washed upon the beach. Thoroughly enjoying the morning sun and cool sea air, the man walked for miles.
As he strolled along, he noticed a small figure dancing in the distance. It made him chuckle to think of someone celebrating life in such an uninhibited way. As he drew closer, however, it became apparent that the figure was not dancing. Instead, she seemed to be repeatedly performing some ritual.
He drew nearer still and noticed that the small figure was a child. She was methodically picking up starfish and tossing them into the surf. He paused for a moment, puzzled, then asked, "Why are you throwing these starfish?"
"It's high tide," she replied, "If I leave them on the beach, the sun will soon dry them and they will die. I am throwing them into the ocean so they can live." The man considered her actions, impressed with the child's thoughtfulness. Then he motioned up and down the miles of the beach. "There must be thousands of starfish along here," he said, "you cannot possibly make a difference."
The young girl stopped. Her face darkened. She chewed thoughtfully on her lower lip, "You're probably right," she said softly. She looked down at the sand. Then she leaned over, carefully picked up another starfish, pulled back and arched it gently into the sea.
With a tone of gentle defiance, she said, "But I made a difference for that one."
**The Starfish Story was originally written by Loren Eisley and there are about one million different variations of the story, but they all share the same theme -- that one person who cares can make a difference.