Every Little Bit

By: Sofia Corley

Surrounded by flowers and the sweet smell of freshly cut grass, I crouch on the earth and continue to pull weeds from the herb bushes. Here, at The Franciscan Monetary Garden, gracious volunteers lend their time to tend to the garden every Wednesday and Saturday in the summer. Being lucky enough to call myself one of those members, I take pride in the work I do here – it gives me a chance to work with my hands on the earth I love and clear my mind of needless thoughts. Spending just a few hours tending to the garden puts my mind at ease and gives me a more positive outlook on the remaining day. I walk away relaxed, feeling like I made a small contribution to the health of the earth while gaining a little hope for the future of our

        As the main message of Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si” Encyclical reflects, we all need to pause, open our hearts, and reflect on how our daily choices and habits affect this planet and every living creature that we share it with. The human race continues to increase consumption of fossil fuels, but is still lacking a sufficient way to mitigate the harmful effects they impose on our environment. We run our cars and cool our homes without considering the destruction to future generations and to the poorer citizens of this planet. To reverse the damage we have caused, as Pope Francis argues, we must look at the problem through a moral lens; if we do not start with a strong desire in our hearts to make a positive change, no economic or political policy will solve the problem at hand. As Pope Francis says, “the violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life”. Caring for our earth also means caring for each other and our future children.

        Looking at the problems facing today’s environment can be overwhelming and make me feel as hopeless as the next person, but I genuinely feel more positive after working in the monastery’s garden. I know that if more people took the time to perform small acts of environmental justice, we could reverse some of the damage caused by our everyday over-consumption. Every person must find the compassion within their hearts to care for creation in their own way, whether that is organizing workplace recycling, using public transit instead of driving, or gardening. The idea that little acts of conservation do not make a difference is what is stopping citizens from forming a collective effort to clean up our mess.  However, if we do join together and if we do commit to little changes in our routine that save energy and give back to the earth, we will see a change. Not everyone has to be a lawmaker to make a difference in the fate of our planet; every little bit counts.

Sofia Corley is a summer intern at FAN and a Sophomore at University of Colorado at Boulder majoring in Environmental Studies. 

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Published in: on July 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

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