I have a friend who laments the loss of hope with regard to the climate challenge. I hear this a lot in climate organizations. You work your ass off for months or years trying to stop a toxic pipeline, and then they put it in anyway. Or you can’t connect your actions to really stopping the icecaps from melting. You make a small step to get your community committed to clean renewable energy, but will it make any difference? Things seem… well, hopeless.
We need to know that the product of our efforts will turn out for the best. That’s what hope is. But here’s a better approach. I’ve talked about the concept of progress in other posts. So try this. I’ve taken to reading this acknowledgement before starting the climate meetings I lead.
“As we begin our work, let us acknowledge the scope of the climate challenges we face. The climate challenge is large, scary, urgent, and can seem overwhelming. It’s really hard work.
We do this work because it is the right thing to do. The moral thing to do. We have no other choice.
Our success will be measured over lifetimes, the product of thousands of projects by millions of people. Progress is the way we sustain the work, no matter the size of our project or our effort.
Let us also acknowledge that together we are stronger than any one individual. Together, regardless of the color of our skin, where we come from, or where we live, we are powerful. Together we are relentless. Together we can support, respect and thank each other for the work we are undertaking. Together we can celebrate our successes and greave our losses. Together we will be successful because of the values we share… inclusion, fairness, empathy and the care of fellow humans and the earth that sustains all of us.
Now let’s see what progress we can make today. Thank you for all the work you do.”
Action, not hope, is the antidote to feeling overwhelmed. We must simply… just do the work. Scope and progress are the measures that move us forward. What you do is incredibly important and significant. Thank you.
‘We are all connected. Savor the Earth!’™
L. Hobart Stocking