In my last column, I wrote about governments resolving to be better prepared to deal with disasters. Today, I propose some timely resolutions any of us can make to help create a better world.
I suggest we resolve to tread more lightly on the face of the earth, leaving as small and shallow a footprint as possible. Do not destroy natural habitat without good reason. Do not litter or pollute the air, water or soil. Conserve all natural resources such as water, soil and natural beauty. Avoid needless waste. Instead, when given the opportunity, we should undo all the damage that has been done.
Pull or otherwise remove invasive weeds that are not native to the area, pick up litter and see that it’s properly disposed of. Plant more trees and other suitable plants to improve the soil, add beauty and gain cleaner air. Let’s not waste any resource — reuse, recycle, reduce usage and repurpose. Be careful not to pollute streams or soil. Read labels and follow directions.
I suggest making a plan that at regular intervals we help someone less fortunate, whether directly or through agencies that provide that help. This could include giving unwanted clothing items to a thrift shop or charity, giving to a food bank or joining a group such as the Gleaners — who pick fruit from abandoned trees or fruit from privately owned trees with the owner’s permission.
Be an advocate for those agencies, private or governmental, that work to help those in need. Volunteer your labor to take care of animals at the Humane Society. Speak out at regular meetings of the city council, county commissioners as an advocate for your cause. Write your legislators, congressmen and congresswomen.
Vow, at regular intervals, to do something nice for friends who are ill, disabled or lonely. Take them flowers from your garden, take them baked goodies if they can have them, take them out to lunch or for a ride in the countryside or just visit them. Offer services such as grocery shopping, babysitting, errand running, lawn mowing or snow shoveling, or whatever is needed such as general yard cleanup to friends or neighbors in need of these services.
Tackle your weaknesses. Mine will be to not be such a champion procrastinator. How happy I’d be to finally catch up on routine chores and occasionally have a house that has been thoroughly clean all at once instead of the piecemeal approach. I remember one of our high school class reunions when one of the gals came sporting a big button that said “just duit.” Instead of procrastinating, just do it. I find I need lots of reminding. It’s easy to forget how good it feels right after you just “dun it.”
Another resolution I’ll be making is to tackle my “piling system” to make it really workable. When I don’t get to the bottom of each pile soon enough I’m often embarrassed by failure to act in a timely manner. I should also resolve to talk less and more softly.
I spent a good bit of my life not practicing that, but eventually managed to rein myself in and modulate my voice — until my husband lost a good bit of his hearing. Then all my efforts came to naught. I’m sure there are some people who wish I’d try again. These days, most of my conversations are at the pool where everyone needs to talk over the noise of screaming kids and the PA system’s loud music. I think the main thing to remember — if you forget or backslide, you can always start over. One slip doesn’t negate the whole year. Also remember, when you remember and keep your resolutions, pat yourself on the back and reward yourself with a special treat.
Lenna Harding lived her first 20 and past 43 years in Pullman. A longtime League of Women Voters member, she served on the Gladish Community and Cultural Center board.