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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Ecology Proper

Posted Thursday, June 18, 2009, at 2:28 PM

I try to do the right think ecologically.

I know those plastic sacks I obtain at stores can last an eternity before decomposing. I know their convenience is an evil thing.

But I fall into temptation too easily.

I've bought scores of those reusable black bags that Kroger, Wal-Mart, and other stores sell. In fact, my back seat is plastered with them.

And when do I remember they are there?

Usually after I've gone into a store to pick up just one item only to now have half a cart full of purchaseables. I maneuver to the check out lane and see the politically correct reusable black bags starring me in the face.

I'm not going to purchase another one to add to the stack in my car! I can't rush out to the car in order to bring in part of my stack for fear that my necessary items will disappear like a "lonely" luggage bag at an airport.

"Yes," I say to the store clerk, "you may use plastic bags."

Ouch, once again.

I do believe in doing the right "green" ecological things! I want to be a good warrior for the future of our planet! I believe in making things better for the children of our children!

But it's just so darn hard to remember those little things that don't seem to make much of a difference on an individual level.

I know that I should but I haven't changed my light bulbs to the "right" ones. I collect my gallon water containers and take them to be recycled but pitch out my little soda containers I purchase at the gas-convenience stores. I take my newspapers and magazines to be recycled, but can never remember to recycle all of my notes and files.

I'm just not "there" yet, some fantasy place where I am the best person I can possibly be as a good steward of the earth.

I try to do the right thing. And maybe I'm getting there, slowly but surely. Yet, I'm not there yet.

I keep telling myself that I'm only one person and that my slips on perfection don't really matter. I'm only one person, and won't it take a million of us before we really have a changing effect on our planet's future? Won't it take a billion of us before we can really begin to see the difference and the improvements our efforts are making?

Who is going to notice one person ... what difference is one person's misdeeds ... what effect will two plastic sacks make in the overall picture?

And then I see you in front of me in the check out line, you who have carried in all the necessary sustainability bags that will be needed to carry out your purchases, you who are remembering that one person's efforts do make a difference because you remind the rest of us of the success we could be having.

And each time I thank you for the reminder and make a pledge to the universe that I will do better next time.

And that day is coming, slowly but surely.

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Sunshine for the Soul
Rev. P.T. Wilson
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P.T. Wilson is the senior pastor at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, and is also the University Chaplain at DePauw University.
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