Reading it on the train each morning and evening travelling to and from work, it has lifted my spirits to a higher level and made me feel like the volunteer environmental work I do all that more worthwhile. What I liked so much about the book is that it gives you the facts, gives you solutions and then has a real life inspiring story about each topic. Well worth a read if you can get a copy of it from the local library.
There is a little story near the back that moved me to tears this afternoon (on the train) and filled me with joy. It is all over the internet, and believe that it is a paraphrase of an essay called The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (which is quite depressing). You have probably heard it before, and I read that U.S. President Obama recently used a version during on of his orations. I prefer this version;
There’s a story about an old man who use to love walking near the ocean. He’d walk along the beach every morning. One day he saw a person moving like a dancer, bending, then wading into the waves with arms extended. It pleased him that someone would dance to the beauty of the day and the rhythm of the waves. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young girl. The girl was not dancing, but was reaching down to the sand, picking something up, and carrying it carefully out into the ocean.
He called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?”
The little girl replied, “I’m returning starfish to the ocean.”
“The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t rescue them, they’ll be stranded on the beach and die.”
“But there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along the way. What difference could you possibly make?”
The little girl did not answer right away. She bent down, picked up another starfish, and gently placed it back into the sea. She watched a wave lift it high, and then, as it sank into the life-giving water, she turned to the man, smiled, and said, “I made a difference for that one.”
The old man nodded and reflected for a moment. Then he bent down, picked up a starfish, and returned it back to the sea.
You see, I believe it works like this, and I am speaking from three years of experience. Your personal environmental actions may seen like drops in the ocean, but everything you do has a ripple effect that magnifies you impact. When people see and hear you speak with passion about making a difference, it makes a little difference to their own thoughts and behaviours. Lead by example and be a green citizen and others will follow!
Remember these wise words;
Vision without Action is merely a dream, and
Action without Vision just passes the time, however,
Vision with Action can change the world!
Reflect upon those words, and you can make a difference today.