The beginning of a new year is a chance to reflect on what has happened recently, and changes we would like to see for the near future. Most of us have probably had years when we made resolutions for change, and most have probably not had a great deal of success in following through with those resolutions.
I think about change a lot. One of the things I appreciate most about Quakerism is the expectation that we are continuously seeking what the Spirit is asking us to do. The practice of considering specific questions, the Queries, is designed to help this process. We struggle to hear what is being asked of us, and perhaps even more, struggle with actually doing it.
Unless our immediate environment forces it, change seems so difficult. How does voluntary change happen?
The biggest change I have been seeking for most of my life is for people to realize how much damage has been done, and continues to be done by extracting and burning fossil fuels. The fact that carbon dioxide is invisible makes it so easy to ignore. I’ve often thought about the paradox of catalytic converters–that while they do reduce particulate exhaust, and have dramatically reduced visible smog, by doing so they make it easy to ignore the tons of carbon dioxide that is dumped into the air, destroying the systems that support us.
One thing that does seem to cause change is concern for those we love. If we care about the very survival of future generations, we have to stop burning fossil fuel. If there was a single resolution I would hope millions would make, it would be to stop ignoring how we are killing Mother Earth, and to do what we need to do for the sake of future generations.