Someone who nicknames herself Nightingale emailed me a question that, in part, went like this:
“We seem to be a pretty tenacious lot, we humans, and wouldn't it be best to realize that we can't save everybody, that some of us will survive the lack of ozone, and just let the chips fall where they may?”
Some other people emailed me that one person (i.e. me) cannot change the planet, so what is the point?
Others have said that the planet is much more powerful than any of us and will survive long after us, so it doesn’t need us to “help it.”
The same kind points are made about world hunger, disease, poverty, violence, and war. One might say that these plagues will always exist, so what’s the point of trying to do anything? (One might just as easily ask, by the way, what’s the point of NOT doing anything?)
I gave one answer to these questions in a post about a little girl and a beach covered with stranded starfish, which can be pretty much summarized as "every little bit helps."
But at the heart of my reasons for engaging in the No Impact experiment is my desire to engage a very personal question about how I want to be as a person. (And I really mean to direct this question only at myself. I don’t mean to imply that anybody else should be asking this question of themselves).
The question is: when things seem futile, do I want to be the kind of person who lets the “chips fall where they may,” or do I want to be the type who tries to do something anyway?
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.