by Heather Burns-DeMelo
I started this blog two years ago when I was gripped by fear--the paralyzing sort that came as a result of being shaken awake by numbers spiking off charts in Al Gore's documentary.
It was as if a bucket of ice cold water was splashed in my face, and I felt in my bones that every day I was selling my children a lie. A lie that our society can be run on fossil fuel indefinitely and without negative impact. A lie that they will always have clean water to drink and enough to spray on their children on hot summer days. A lie that the mattress and pillow they sleep on at night is safe to breathe. A lie that the food on the super market shelves is healthy and safe to eat.
So, I've kept my nose so close to the grind stone that many days I'm afraid to look up. For when I do, what I see around me threatens the sense of hope I've worked so hard to instill and foster and grow in myself and those around me. Why hope? Because hope fuels courage and fights despair. It creates a space for creativity, innovation and compassion to blossom. And those, we need in spades.
In Thoreau's Legacy: American Stories about Global Warming, Barbara Kingsolver writes, "We abolished slavery, we granted universal suffrage. We have done hard things before. Each time it took a terrible fight between people who could not imagine changing the rules. If we run out of hope at the end of the day, we'll rise in the morning and put it on again with our shoes. Hope is the only reason we won't burn what's left of the ship and go down with it. If somebody says, "Your money or your life," you can say, "Life." And mean it."
Now that's perspective.