Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Jeanette Winterson: We Make a Difference

In the Wind
Originally uploaded by AZ Sun God.

My apologies to those I’ve promised “answers.” I’m working on them. Meanwhile, I came across this from the February column of the poet, Jeanette Winterson. (I’ll add a link to her.)

I love her spirit!


I was reading about the polar bears today, and how we will have destroyed their habitat within our life-time. Meanwhile the oil-men are pleased because they are going to be able to drill into permafrost and run their 4x4’s for longer.

For the first time ever, I have momentarily given way to despair. I look at my geo-thermal heating system, and my eco-bulbs, and my recycling, and my half a bag of rubbish per week, and all the trees and hedging I’ve planted – not just now but over the years, and I feel like I’ve done nothing – or rather the something that I have done is nothing.

But I know I can’t think like that. No matter how little, no matter how pointless it seems it has to be done, because as well as the direct impact, there is something harder to quantify, which is a spirit of change. And that only happens when more and more of us believe that our efforts are worth the effort.

If one more person says to me ‘Ah but China… meaning so what’s the point of anything we do, I will stuff their smug, knowing despondent face in a bucket of low-fat yoghurt.

HOW WE LIVE MAKES A DIFFERENCE. If we fall victim to the ideology of apathy we go straight down into that Dante circle of Hell reserved for those ‘who wilfully live in sadness.’ The sad shake of the head, the worldly-wise shrug of the shoulders, what can we do? Answer – everything we can do, big and small, and bring up the kids to do better. There might still be time. I believe in second chances and miracles, whatever the weather, whatever the science. Oh God, give it a go. Who is to say for sure that it’s too late?

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