Monday, January 6, 2020

Looking forward with 2020

By Beth Sullivan
Happy New Year. A new year, a new decade, possibly a new way to think. Most of us try to start a new year with resolutions, or at least good intentions to do something different. It might be to exercise more, eat healthier, or lose weight. It also could be to take a class, start a project, or learn a skill. For others it is cleaning up, clearing out, purging papers, and reducing clutter in our lives.
I got thinking about a different path. Maybe it’s because ‘2020’ is also linked with good vision. We are able to look forward clearly but also be in the present clearly, consciously.

We all can contribute

For years I have been writing about nature: how we interact with it, how we use it for various purposes-from exercise and recreation, to peace, tranquility and healing. What do we give back for these gifts? Sometimes I get overwhelmed because I feel as one single person, I can’t make a dent in the abuse of our Earth. We can walk on a beach and pick up trash, but it doesn’t begin to make an impact in the giant whirling seas of trash in our oceans. Our beach may look nice for a while, but what about the coastlines in other parts of the world, places too poor to send their own waste out of sight, like we do? Some of our politicians think “straws are small” and can’t cause damage, yet we know even smaller microplastics are filtering through our waters and into our food chain.
What can one person do to make any kind of a difference? Maybe not a lot, but if EVERY ONE person took a step, or two or more, and if like ripples, the effort expanded outward, there would be an impact. There are so many things that one person alone cannot accomplish, but with a team, with help and cooperation and with invention and creativity, progress is amazing. If each of us looked forward clearly, and took some of these small steps, our combined efforts will make a difference. The difference will be noted and others may heed the call.
Image from internet 

We look at the beautiful stone walls in our region and know that while one person could lift many of the individual stones, one person alone could not create the walls. However with collaboration, tools and creativity, the works of generations before us remain today and hopefully for the future.
The walls at Knox Preserve

Our vision for the future is entirely entwined with our children, the children of the world. Think of what we can teach them. What can we show them, both beautiful and inspiring, and not so beautiful but hopefully inspiring in a different way? All parents know you cannot force a toddler or a teenager to comply with our every wish, but what we can do is gently and patiently open their eyes to their potential and guide them on a 2020 path of clear sight to improve our world and make a positive difference. It’s just one year, concentrating not on ourselves, but having a greater vision and understanding that as one person, we can truly make a difference. Maybe it will become a new habit.
Happy New Year!
Image from internet

Knox Preserve photograph by Beth Sullivan.

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