Sometimes, it feels like an individual’s efforts don’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. In the face of rapidly-escalating climate crisis, the evolving pandemic, and social and political unrest, the future (and present) can seem pretty bleak.
I was deep in existentialist thought as I went to fill the wild bird feeders with seed mix when something caught my eye – its bright hue stood out from the background, and could not be ignored.
It was a tiny leaf under a tulip poplar tree…but no ordinary leaf. If you’re familiar with tulip poplars, they’re so named because their leaves (and flowers) resemble tulips – not hearts, like this one did. This tiny heart came at just the right moment, and in just the right way. How did the trees know I’d take that specific route to the feeders? My approach varies by day, as I try carefully to avoid stepping on sunflower seedlings that sprouted from seeds tossed out from the feeders.
To me, it was clearly a gift – one that brightened my day immeasurably – and a message. I felt as though the trees were telling me “it matters”.
If you’re questioning why you should make the effort to try to be an ethical member of society who strives to do good and to care when it seems like many others don’t give a fat fig about anything but their own selfish concerns, remember that your actions matter.
As we (hopefully) continue to practice being worthy inhabitants of this planet – an uphill battle, it seems – we must find ways to keep our spirits and resolve strong. We are not alone. Keep trying. Fight the good fight. Be a good person. Don’t give up. And by doing these uncool, unrewarded, unrecognized deeds, you make an impact.