“You Can’t Save the World”

I would describe myself as being an ambitious person.  Sure, I have my mornings where I’d rather stay in bed and ignore the influences of the world but for the most part I try to do all that I can in order to be a productive person and improve the space in which I am inhabiting.

Despite my ambitions, there are times when I feel as though my efforts are as effective as screaming into the Grand Canyon. 

"Globe Collection" by girlhula @ FlickrI separate my recyclables from the trash while I watch my neighbors dragging out their garbage but no recycling bins.  Then I wonder if my recyclables will even make it to any recycling facility.

I have been eating more fruits and vegetables for health reasons but wonder if my actions are as environmentally responsible as some people would want us to believe.  In order to grow our vegetables we fertilize our soils and eventually these nutrients find themselves flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, creating a dead zone where no life is able to be supported.

I try to conserve water by turning the faucet off while brushing my teeth, but my showers are too long.  I know that I don’t need to stand there with the hot water spraying on me, but it is my way of washing away the day physically and mentally.

There are countless areas in my life in which my efforts seem to be neutralized by my own actions or those of others.  I exercise as often as possible but will find myself snacking on junk food a couple of hours later.  I don’t use paper towels, but my girlfriend does.  I ride my bike to work, but drive more often.  I use rechargeable batteries but leave a cell phone charger plugged into the outlet, draining electricity.  I use non-toxic dish soap for my dishes but use Tide for my laundry.

Despite all of my “failings” I do whatever I can in order to make the world a better place.  Just because I have room for improvement doesn’t mean that I should give up on the things that I am doing right.  People tell me that I can’t save the world, and maybe that is true, but I strongly believe that although I am only one person I can make a difference.

I can improve my own life, my household, my neighborhood.  If I can improve my neighborhood, then I can improve my community.  If I am improving my community then I am improving my country and if I am able to improve my country then I am able to improve the world.  If we all started believing that we have the power to make a difference and the power to change the world, maybe we really can do something.

Individuals build a community and communities create our world.  Maybe I can’t change the world on my own but as a global community I have no doubt we are capable to doing great and many things.  Even the small changes are a step in the right direction.  Keep building upon those small changes and eventually you will be making a huge impact.