Forty years ago today, a Wisconsin politician declared a day to honor those without a voice. He wasn’t working to give rights to unborn fetuses or the disabled or the elderly. He was working for nature.
I know I might lose some of you car buffs right there. “Nature,” you might scoff. “That’s the stuff I mow down every Wednesday in the summertime. That’s what hides its face when I fly by in my convertible. That’s what I dominate.” And all that might be true.
But hear this.
Nature is also what gives you your favorite pets, the food on your plate, the rain to make that godforsaken grass grow. It gives us the breathtaking sunsets, the jaw-dropping mountains, the intricacies of a single cell. It has the power to cause volcanic eruptions and stop air traffic for a week, to send devastating hurricanes crashing to our shores, to destroy whole towns with a single tornado. And right now, we are hurting nature in more ways than we can count, and you can bet our actions won’t come without consequences.
This isn’t about the doom and gloom, although there’s plenty of that if you look. It’s about having the opportunity to make a difference in some way…in your way. I can’t design a better battery or manufacture solar panels. But I can write and help people to know about the amazing environmental efforts going on largely behind closed doors. Bring the skills you have to the table and use them in a positive, important way. There are limitless opportunities out there for all skills and all people. We are living in an era of unheard of technological and societal advances and right now is the time to make a huge difference. How tremendously exciting is that?
At the end of the day, it’s about looking outside yourself, making decisions you can stand behind, and becoming the best version of you possible. Nobody can control your actions but you and really, actions are what we’re after. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and sometimes, that seems like what we’re doing. So follow the example of Gaylord Nelson or Aldo Leopold or the SMV team. It’s not about doing what everyone else is doing or what’s fashionable. It’s about doing what’s right.