This I Believe

Emmalee - Las Cruces, New Mexico
Entered on May 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that the acknowledgement of a problem is not the solution of a problem.

I walked out of the Market Co-Op one morning and skirted around a monstrous black Hummer parked at the store’s entrance. As I did so, a light green bumper sticker caught my eye; I paused momentarily to read it and was assaulted by its irony. “Think Green: Conserve Energy.” This military throw-back that gets about eight miles to the gallon was asking me to conserve energy. At that moment I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The owner of this gas guzzler apparently had some form of a good intention, but they were going about their quest entirely bass-ackwards. It is one thing to be concerned about the planet—I know I am, and I hope that we all are—but it’s a horse of a different color to be concerned about dwindling natural resources while driving a Hummer. That is when this belief struck me. It is truly not enough to simply acknowledge the fact that our way of life is destroying the sustenance of our lives; we must know it and then act accordingly upon that knowledge. I felt like going out and immediately planting a tree. I didn’t, but I did start riding my bike more often and driving only when and where I absolutely needed to. I now unplug my microwave when it’s not in use and take the stairs wherever possible. Individually each of these tasks seems nearly insignificant, but I feel better about my place on our planet by doing them (not to mention the money I save on gas and electricity). I feel like I am taking my knowledge and actively trying to be part of the solution. I can only hope now that this knowledge is contagious and that with it goes the desire to do something about it. I hope that cloth rags look like a better option than paper towels that the TV gets turned off when no one is watching. Mostly I hope that small, seemingly insignificant acts begin to add up to a bigger solution, because in all this I believe.