I think I lost a lot of readership when I got bitter over the past month. This post isn't gonna get them back. Bitterness is always just one skip and a fall past sarcasm, and since I thrive on sarcasm I'm always on that tightrope. Of course, besides all the stress of the past few months, I actually don't have anything to be truly bitter about. A month ago, I was pretty sure that I would be searching for a new advisor, ignored by my current one and stagnating in the office where all good brains will finally die out. However, all good things come around eventually, and the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter. I have things to do again (which of course means less cheap posts on here).
Now, life for me this new year is really about the same, except that it's different and stimulating enough that I've tried to get my attitude back in order. My educational aspirations took a hitch in the plans right away but the start was still fast and it's good to really feel like I'm getting something done again. It's no New Year's resolution. No, it's just me getting turned back around and headed down a road with sunshine for a while. Cynicism has its place in every conversation, without doubt, but I need to cut mine a bit short here for a while. Otherwise everyone who reads this will think that I just hate the world.
It's hard sometimes not to be angry or apathetic with the world though. Take recycling, for example. Farmers are earth's recyclers, helping to protect the animals that can take inedibles and make food, helping to grow food from the ground which can sustain life, and then turning around and restoring that land so that it can be as fertile as possible. They work all the time to make land livable, but then once it's livable, the people come in and take it over, eat it up and trash it. But is the world to blame, or is it just a lot of people in the world?
It feels like the Bill Peet book, "Wump World", where everything is on a downward spiral until we finally realize that it's too late to fix the mess we made. It continues to shock me that there are people who care more about saving a cat than helping save their planet. But is it because they don't care about the planet, or because they know that if they save an animal there is a tangible change? This is a change that all of us can really see, we can really feel. And that is the change that is most fun to make. Like casting off an addiction, the difference that you physically make in the world can have more long-term rewards than the stack of paper you put in a bin and never saw again. And there's the hope to this world.
Apathy is the worst disease and will probably take the longest time to find the cure. Like cancer, it eats away at our feelings and our bodies until nothing matters to us anymore. We are desensitized to the pain and need around us, unable to enjoy the happy moments because we have settled into the status quo, willing to let time and trouble pass us by. And if we don't even care about ourselves, then how can we care about the planet?
I do my part to recycle, and I think it matters that much more to me now that I don't have the green grass and wide spaces to enjoy every day. Recycling has almost become my one way of working for the betterment of the earth; my promise to myself that I won't let my lifestyle hurt the planet any more than is inevitable. Amanda thought I was crazy at first, but even she has the recycling gene in her and so we do it. Thankfully, OSU has recycling dumpsters on campus which allow us to do our part. Sure, even recycling has its skeptics and I never know what to believe about the true impact of what I tried to save anymore, but all I can do is listen to the experts and save the stuff I'm supposed to save, hoping that someone else is doing their part too. Are you? Do some simple things, that you've been told all your life to do your part to slow down our destruction of the planet. Reduce your waste, re-use what you can (it's even better than recycling) and then recycle whatever else is possible. Try it, and see if it isn't worth your time.