I have a running to-do list of chores that will never be to-done. This list is an elegy to cutlery drawers that will never be organized. There’s never time to do anything beyond what is absolutely necessary, and not just because busyspeak is the reigning vernacular—I’ve soooo much to do! And yet, I really do have to make lunch for two little people who will not eat it the next day. And yet, climate change is upon us. I should do something, and now! But I have a mortgage, a job, college funds, and a modestly embarrassing dance class that I have to attend in order to stave off insanity.
If we’re going to make change, we first have to make time. (Ideally, we can do this while still paying our bills and occasionally watching Netflix.) But really, it’s not even the time you’d spend acting. It’s the time it takes to know what actions are actually worth doing. Should I be calling my climate-denying elected official, or should I be burning a giant effigy of Big Oil in front of City Hall? Should I be auto-filling out a petition, or speed dialling red-state randoms? And when I talk, how can I do so without sounding like a buzzkill wrapped in a wet blanket?
Little Things Every Day. Really.
BUT BUT BUT. It’s become conventional wisdom to darkly note that asking the barista to fill your Keep Cup does nothing to slow the oceans’ rise. No, the only thing that can save us now is government and business working in concert to deploy megasolutions.
To which we say “Yes, and?” Because when you follow this big argument far enough, it gets small. What’s going to make politicians pay attention? How does society change? When the sound of many small voices becomes too loud to ignore. Done right, many little things will become one big thing.
That’s where we need to go, and the good news is that these little things can make us feel happy, human, connected, creative, and smart. What’s more, the little things, when strategically calibrated, can have major oomph. One conversation can set a politician on a new course. One email can get a GM to rethink the burrito waste in an entire stadium. It’s only small if you diminish it. You’re David, and you can slay. But the Beyoncé way.
So what’s the deal?
I’ll send you a creative mission every week. Something you can do to help this lovely world we call home. Sometimes it will be challenging, sometimes it’ll be fun, always it’ll be doable in the time it takes to steep a cup of tea. You’ll get this newsletter every Tuesday, and the goal is to tackle your mission before the next one arrives.