This word has been mulling around in my mind lately. In church the other day, someone referenced a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that my mother once made me and my siblings memorize: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased.”
It’s a good quote. Catchy. Rolls off the tongue. But it made me think about the different things my mom has forced us to learn, or be a part of, or think. (Of course I use the word “force” jokingly–my mom is great and I don’t think I’ve been brainwashed.) And for that matter, what about my dad? My grandparents? My teachers? How many times has an adult drilled a concept into my head or made me learn a new skill I thought I would never need again?
I’m not a mom but I think I get the point. We love our kids, right? We want to teach them stuff so they’ll grow up to be, what, healthy, beautiful, patriotic, intelligent, hardworking, faithful, virtuous–you get the drift. We love them so we shape them and the world around them so they can thrive.
But this is where my mind sort of draws a blank: if we really love our kids, why are we destroying the planet for the rest of the generations that are to come?
Still reading? Don’t worry, I won’t get more environmental than that on this post. Right now I’m reading the book No Impact Man. I’m just past the part when Colin bought cloth diapers for his daughter Isabella. My family will eagerly attest that I’m kind of bent on saving polar bears, hugging trees, and overall making everyone else’s lives miserable as I hypocritically tell them to stop idling their cars.
Anyway, I haven’t finished the book, but I like it so far. He’s funny, and though I’m not sure if all his facts are correct, even his most basic arguments are logical and he seems pretty open-minded. I love people like that. Openly imperfect, but still foolishly searching for a way to be better, to make the world a better place. Keep trying, you humans!
So without further ado, this is how I feel, more or less, on environmental issues. See next post, Legacy (Part II).