I used to start off each year with a list of New Year’s Determinations (the idea of resolutions drives me crazy). Intentionally, I chose determinations because, by golly, I was going to do them! Perhaps not perfectly, but I was going to do them. For the most part I did instill those small changes and they have stuck.
I stopped doing the determinations because I felt like I had incorporated everything I needed to into my creation care lifestyle. Hubris! I started reflecting on what more I could do. I preach the message of creation care wherever I go, but was there more I could do?
Do you remember the movie Schindler's List? There’s a scene at the end where Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, makes a moving speech about what he could have done more to save one more life. He is racked with guilt that one more gold ring could have saved one more person. Ben Kingsley, who plays the leader of the Jews Schindler saved, says to him “Oskar, you did enough.” The question remains for me, am I doing enough? Is there one less mile I could drive, one less straw I could use, one less item of CPJ (Cheap Plastic Junk) I could purchase? The answer, of course, is yes!
But beyond one less for me personally, can I encourage others to adopt the message of one less? I am surrounded by people who are doing many acts of one less, and there is so much room for all of us to do one less of many things.
So, what do we do?
Well, the good Christian American in me chooses to remain positive and do what we do- work harder at doing one less and encouraging others to do the same. Supporting companies working on solutions and technology to solve our overuse of God’s Creation, and choosing to work with nonprofits that are not only protecting our precious first gift of the Earth, but focusing on the rights of all humans to have access to clean water, land and air.
Of course, there is great wisdom from the New Testament on this.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19.
One less becomes one more.
The idea of one less does become one more. What if we paid ourselves for the idea of one less? When I say pay, I mean save. For example, you can pay yourself 50 cents for every time you choose to not take disposable plasticware with carry out. Every time you take public transportation, walk, or bike to the store, church, or to get coffee, you could save another 50 cents. Instead of pocketing that change, what if you put that change in a jar and challenged your family members to do the same thing? What would that jar look like at the end of the year? It might look like several jars! What if you took all that money you paid yourself for doing less and donated it to a mission project at your church or a community program that protects parks? What would that look like? So, that is my challenge to you- do acts of one less so others can have one more. Will you join me?