One piece of advice that bears repeating is this: “Be careful who you listen to.” This is an important caution, because we can let others determine what we believe, if we give sanction to, or accept without question, what they say.
A case in point: There are doom-and-gloom folks out there, who, for their own reasons, would rob the rest of us of hope. It has been proven that a hopeless attitude is just as dangerous as anything we could do to, say, pollute the environment. Hopelessness is like a nerve gas – it paralyzes us and prevents us from seeing the kind of world we want for our children and grandchildren, and then doing what we need to do to create it.
Yes, there are planet-wide challenges to our air and water, the land and the creatures that live in and on all three – including humans. However, if we give up, we don’t engage the creativity and problem-solving abilities that are inherently human. Hopelessness will kill the dream of a healthy planet quicker than all the holes in the ozone layer and all the chemicals released into the atmosphere put together. To hope is not foolish. If you look for reasons to despair, you easily will find them. However, if you choose, instead, to look for reasons to hope, you easily will find them as well.
Why not collect hopeful signs, like some folks collect stamps, coins or baseball cards? Then, when you hear people saying that it doesn’t matter what we do, because it is too late to save the environment, tell them they are wrong. Prove it with examples from your own collection. If you don’t have a collection yet, social media is alive with examples – again, just be careful what you listen to. Do your own research to ensure that your collection will stand the scrutiny.
Yes, there is work to be done and we will find the tools to use. Committed people are finding new methods to clean up past mistakes every day. The hopeful news is that each of us can make a difference – you can make a difference!