Make it count!

Dec 22, 2010 by

Make it count!

Let’s face it, life is really short. Regardless of who we are or where we come from we have a brief chance to make the best of our own lives. Appreciating every simple pleasure from a sunrise to a passing bird is the secret sauce to life. We are remembered by our kids and those on whom we have made an impression during our lives. The bigger the impression the longer we are remembered and eventually in time, like a long lost flake of snow belonging to a previous winter we melt away in time returning to the place in which we all came from.

What kind of story will they tell about your life, how will you be remembered? How long will that memory of your life last? One generation, perhaps four generations, and then what? How far back in your own family can you remember or know the story of those who came before we did. Paying attention to the elderly is one of the best ways to gain insight and wisdom during our lives but how many of us do. They have so much to teach us and remember they have been through far more “life” then we have. Learning from their experiences helps us navigate in our own lives and knowing the stories that they remember carries the torch of the lessons of so long ago.

To many first nations of North America, it’s said that people should try to leave the world better then you found it for the next 7 generations. What a thought, being stewards of the land in such a way that world is protected for so very long after we are gone. There is a lot of wisdom in that. *Making our lives count* and leaving the world better then we find it.

I have to wonder if any of us are really doing that in today’s world. I myself have a smart phone attached to my hip. What happens when it no longer works and I must dispose of it, where do those hazardous chemicals go? There are so many examples of that in our lives it boggles the mind. Simple innocent ways in which we live our modern life that can unknowingly lead to long term environmental impacts. We have a long, long way to go!

There is good news: you see nature has been around for a very long time. We are the new kids on the block and in the end we are the ones who will live with the choices that we make as a society and as a species.

I very much believe in “hope” itself and I believe deep down we all know that we need to be better stewards of the land. It’s the “what can I do” mentality that makes some of us feel overwhelmed or that there isn’t hope. The truth is you can do plenty! In today’s world information is nothing more then a quick search online. Educate yourself to the simple steps that can be made in your own life to help. Conservation really does start with “you”. Think about that, if we each ensure our own homes make sound decisions then collectively we correct the big picture. That’s what they mean when they say “Think globally act locally”. Get to know and appreciate the natural world in your own backyard as much as you can because that is the world we are trying to protect. In time we will all be a little greener and a lot happier.

Photo Credit: Mark and Anne Fraser

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Mark;
    I enjoy your articles very much and look forward to where you will take us in the next MCJ. Today’s offering hits very close to home though as you mention a number of things that I have patterned my life after since my grandfather introduced me to the great outdoors. He also instilled in me a love of that place, whether it was at the beach camping in an old tent or in a county park in one of the house trailers he built. His first lesson to me as we prepared to go on a camping trip to the mountains was to always go prepared, “Johnny, the first thing I learned to pack for a camping trip is a small shovel and a bamboo rake. You’ll always find them handy tools if you are to leave your campsite cleaner and better than you found it.” I never forgot that lesson and have always had those tools among my campkit. You also touched a very raw nerve when you spoke of listening to our old folks. Obviously my grandfather was my mentor until he passed away in my 21st year but before he left us he instilled a love of learning in me. Not just from books, but from family stories and history. I credit him with my insatiable desire to know more about my roots so I can write about them, thereby fulfilling your advice. Now I am the old one and I crave telling my story but I have to do it by writing books as my children and grandchildren are all too busy finding their path in life to sit with me for a lesson in geneology. Oh dear, see what I mean, I have written a book here but I did want to tell you how much you touch my heart and memory with your stories.
    Best regards
    John W. Strobel III