Look at this picture. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Barney, the wildflowers, the ‘glorious’ sign. Now, look closer. Really zoom in. If you go close enough you’ll see that the picture is made up of thousands of little dots. Let’s imagine there are…say…3000 dots. Each one of those dots has a part to play and if the odd one were missing there would be a blip in the picture. The more dots that are missing in any given part of the picture the bigger the blip.
Now imagine a film or a play. The actor is concerned with his own bit of it, but the director is somehow trying to work the whole thing into a much bigger picture. The individual actor has a part to play and no matter how small the part he is there for a reason.
What about an orchestra? Each musician is concerned about his own part and doing his best as the conductor coordinates everything. If just one member of the orchestra is missing the conductor will sense the blip in the standard of musicianship in the concert.
Remember: Whatever you do towards helping the environment, it’s not just you. You are part of the bigger picture.
Social scientists have found that when one person makes a sustainability-oriented decision, other people do too. They believe this occurs because we constantly evaluate what our peers are doing and we adjust our beliefs and actions accordingly. When people see their friends or neighbours taking environmental action, like recycling or walking instead of taking the car, they infer that people like them also value sustainability and feel more compelled to act themselves. And so, you help erase the blips from the bigger picture.
There is a jigsaw puzzle aspect to everything we do, searching for the right bit, adding another few pieces until the bigger picture appears. That's the appeal: the challenge of it.
"None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful." Mother Teresa.