"Soil is not usually lost in slabs or heaps of magnificent tonnage. It is lost a little at a time over millions of acres by the careless acts of millions of people. It cannot be saved by heroic feats of gigantic technology, but only by millions of small acts and restraints, conditioned by small fidelities, skills, and desires. Soil loss is ultimately a cultural problem; it will be corrected only by cultural solutions." - Wendell Berry
Cultural change doesn’t come easy. I feel like I’m sprinting to stay ahead of the fear & despair nipping at my heels. And more often than not, I can feel slammed by guilt about not doing as much as I should to save this planet for my kids. But the guilt doesn’t help, it just slows me down to where despair overtakes me, making the changes I want to make even more out of reach.
But wait! (Memory flash.) I’m a nurse! I know how to deal with change—people trying to change their diets, to quit smoking, to adjust to great loss. It doesn’t work to just say “this is how you do it.” You have to meet people where they are. You can’t tell someone who eats French fries and soda for lunch to start eating kale/seaweed salad, you have to step down to potato salad and ice tea first, then add in a little iceberg lettuce, and six months later, feel out the idea of broccoli.
And it doesn’t really even work to say “look, I did it, you can too!” It may help, a little, but in general, you’ll be met with this response: “Excuse me, I have to do outside so I can stand in the cold and indulge the nicotine habit of which I am well aware you do not approve, Miss High-and-Mighty.”
So, be more down-and-dirty than high-and-mighty. Let’s just start where we are, wherever that is. And then step forward. One step, one bit of soil, one day, one year at a time.