I just got back from spending a month in the San Juan Islands visiting and pet sitting for my daughter.
She was busy working and traveling most of that time, but last Saturday she set aside as a “mother-daughter day”, which made me very happy 🙂
We decided to ride the ferry to Friday Harbor, do a little shopping, and have lunch together.
The ferry ride was beautiful and refreshing, but I couldn’t help wondering what effect such a big boat was having on the water and wildlife below. Not to mention all the other boaters out for the day.
Friday Harbor is a definitely a tourist town, so I didn’t expect too much. I was just happy to be spending time with my daughter. We ordered fish tacos from the outdoor BBQ stand, then sat at some empty tables in front of a closed cafe.
Others were sitting at the tables as well. Including several families with small children. All of a sudden, the glass blower in the booth between the BBQ and the cafe started yelling at us to move. He said that we were being rude, and hurting the feelings of the owner of the cafe by sitting there while not patronizing her business (which was closed).
My daughter tried to talk some sense into the man, but he just yelled, “I don’t know where you came from but you should go back there!!”
Needless to say, we left. I was so sorry that my daughter had to experience that!
But then something interesting happened.
We went back to the Barking Bird gift shop to buy more grain free homemade biscuits for the doggies back home. We told the owner what happened at the cafe.
Turns out she has lived on San Juan Island for 50 years. She described how it has changed. How it used to be a small community, where everyone helped and looked out for each other. Now it’s being overrun with developers, only interested in making a profit off the growing tourist industry.
Then she told us how she went to college to study the environment back in 1969. Environmental studies were a new concept back then. She described how she hoped to change or save the world with what she would learn.
Instead, she finds herself totally discouraged and hopeless about how people are treating the planet, and the future of life on earth.
It was a sad discussion. My daughter also has a Master’s in Resource Conservation, and I have a Bachelor’s in Environmental Education. We both have experienced the futility of trying to create change or make a real difference.
I realized long ago that the only way to change human behaviour towards the environment is to somehow change what we think and feel. Passing laws, protesting, and signing petitions can have short term effects, but the snowball of environmental destruction continues to roll down the mountain of least resistance.
If you want to know what this has to do with metaphysics, it’s why I teach Metaphysics for Life online, and why I help people create A Mind With Heart.
I do believe it is making a difference. I can only hope that, together with lots of other people doing similar work, it will, someday, be enough.
In the meantime, I like my daughter’s philosophy.
She knows now that big efforts to save the world are not effective today. But small acts, like helping an organic farmer manage their land (which is going to be her job this fall) does make a difference.
I believe it is up to each one of us to look into our own hearts to find answers and solutions. Your heart knows what you need to be doing right now, who to spend your time with, and where and how you can help.
If you haven’t started creating A Mind With Heart yet it’s never too late. And if you haven’t been practicing lately, I encourage you to try again, and again, and again.
Even after fifteen years I still need to remind myself when I start to get overwhelmed, or give up hope, or if I’m just not feeling that great. I am still amazed at what happens when I just sit down for a moment, use my Life Navigation System, write things down, and focus on my heart for an answer.
Go to the Foundation for Creating A Mind With Heart to get your own Life Navigation System. Or, if you already have one, please share your comments below and join me on Facebook. I would love to hear from you!