By Linda Commito
“The greatest threat to our planet is believing that someone else will save it.”—Robert Swan
One of my earliest childhood memories was standing at the window of our 3rd floor New England apartment with my parents, brother and cousins, watching people being lowered by ropes from the apartment building behind us. A dam had broken and we were living in the “flats”, the lowest area of our town. It had been raining incessantly, as cars, and even a house, were floating down the streets. At five, I wasn’t scared until my older cousin started crying and praying. It wouldn’t be long before we were rescued by row boat.
Years later, at eleven, then living in a 2nd floor apartment next to my dad’s variety store, we were awaiting company to celebrate my little brother’s first birthday when we heard pounding at the door. Our downstairs neighbors shouted: “Get out! There’s a fire!” We ran to safety only to witness the 1st floor apartment burning. Our neighbors watched as many of their possessions disappeared in flames. We never moved back.
My memories also hold overwhelming images of floods in Colorado when I didn’t know whether I would have a place to come back to and, more recently, spending time in a Florida shelter during Hurricane Irma.
But things have gotten worse in frequency and intensity. It has been so sad and distressful to watch many areas of our country being devastated, day after day, by extreme fires and floods, as people lose their homes, businesses and, for some, their lives. One feels helpless, not knowing what to do, how to make a difference. Yet, there are wonderful stories about people reaching out to others, saving lives and homes, offering food and a helping hand to rebuild what has been lost. Thankfully, there are always good people who show up to support others during catastrophes.
One of the most powerful ways to express our caring for each other isby being kind to Mother Earth. Each thing that we do matters, especially when multiplied by the millions of people sharing this planet. We can change our spending habits, donate, recycle, conserve water, stop polluting, and make a greater commitment to a clean environment. And effective ways to bring about change are through our VOTES and our letters and calls to politicians to support and protect our natural resources and climate.
I can’t help but be angry that there are still debates about whether climate change and infrastructure have anything to do with the disasters that we are experiencing all too frequently. We can’t wait any longer. Worldwide, we need to elect conscious leaders who will work together to protect our environment for future generations. We need to hold corporations who pollute accountable and to support organizations and people who are leading the way in environmental awareness and actions.
It’s up to us to start where we are. There is always something we can do to help and to change our world for the better. If not now, when?
Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Linda’s award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love Is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Her latest project, the card game Just Ask 1 2 3, was inspired by a desire to connect people of all different ages, beliefs and lifestyles to share our individuality and find commonality. Linda also created “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program, book and website for children. For more information visit http://www.LoveistheNewCurrency.com or visit the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Justask123game.