The daily news and projections of humanity’s future are bleak. Despite this, or maybe because of it, my environmental activist friends live with a sustained sense of purpose, connection, and joy. What have they taught me and others to ask?

First, what are our gifts and passions? How can we use them to make our little part of the world better?  No matter how insignificant it seems, even small actions matter.  For now, I’ve let go of what I can’t yet accomplish like reaching a net zero lifestyle or getting my politicians to make better laws. Instead, my environmental activist friends and family, have taught me to celebrate what I can do and then take the next step.

Second, who are our friends? Every one of my environmental activist friends and family have created deep, lasting friendships.  They look for the good in others and situations, and they amplify the good. For that reason, people want to be around them and help them.

Third, what is going well in this moment? COVID taught us to be grateful for every breath. Contributing to the Rotary Foundation, especially, taught me to be grateful for every glass of water, every bite of nutritious food, education, and health care. Why? because I remember all my friends around our planet who make these essential services possible. We are connected to each other.

My lifestyle and humanity’s lifestyle must go below zero carbon and zero waste NOW. It’s a bitter pill –

Or maybe it’s like a bitter cup of coffee that wakes me and motivates me; I need to remember to add some crème and sugar.  YES, to friends and small victories!