Thursday, June 2, 2016


Every day, I pass a sign in the museum that says "How will you make a difference?"

It's about climate and environment, but every day it makes me think.  And every day I think differently.  Sometimes I feel that the answer is "I won't" and other times I see the answer as "through my actions" and other days I find the answer is "through my inaction."

No answer is completely correct; just as no answer is completely incorrect either.

Sometimes we feel tiny and insignificant and full only of our own little sphere that we have influence over.  Some days that sphere is smaller than other days. And so the answer can be "I won't" on those days.  On days when you aren't influencing your sphere, and you remain quiet and passive, you make very little - if any - impact.

Other times, our action and reaction to our little (or moderate) sphere makes impacts.  We smile at someone and compliment their shoes, they go forth with a brighter light and make an impact on their sphere in some way.  Or, you extend yourself to another being in your sphere and challenge their perception by discussion.  Perhaps you both remain unchanged, but perhaps not.  Alternatively your small action of recycling can make a difference to the planet and the animals that inhabit it.  Every time I clip a soda can holder, I think of a turtle that won't have a cinched waistband, and hope that a bird doesn't get it's beak stuck into someone else's trash; someone who didn't take the time to clip their rings, or simply doesn't know about the impact that makes.

Which brings me to my inaction making an impact.  What if someone hasn't been told that there's a chance that wildlife will either choke on, or become otherwise impeded, by this 6-pack-ring.   That something so simple that takes seconds to do (and happens to be incredibly satisfying, for some odd reason), can make a difference.  What if even knowing that, I decide that I just don't care?  What if I decide that I just can't spare those 5 seconds, or I just can't find the scissors, or I just can't ________.  Maybe it won't impact an animal the first time I throw it away whole.  But maybe it will.  If everyone just gives up and says "I don't care" then all the small impacts are made so much larger.

So, getting back to the "how will you make a difference" question:  Maybe we won't.  Maybe we will.  But, more likely than not, we will make a difference, but just won't ever know what kind of difference we made.

And just because I can, here are some pictures of the bonnet-head shark.  They might not be especially good, but they're still pretty awesome in my opinion.  So, you're all welcome.

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