Why do I not really care? I wanted to get down to the bottom of my heart, reach into the recesses of my brain, for answers. Become zen for a moment. I resisted at first, found a thousand excuses for not listening. I had picked the wrong time, the wrong place. Saturday morning, breakfast in the kitchen. The distraction of Prad and Alex joking around kept pulling me away. I sent them out for a walk with the dog. Finally, I was alone, and in the stillness, I found a few treasures.
“Paper or plastic”. What will it take for me to remember the green bags? Even when they are in the trunk of my car, and I forget to take them with me to the store, there is that split second moment at the counter, when I need to decide: to go back to the car and get the bag, or to just go along with the clerk’s request. What happens when I choose the lazy way? What makes me go for “Plastic please”? My first thought is, why bother, such a small thing, it will not make a difference. The global warming problem is so huge. One little extra plastic bag, I can get away with it. Leave it up to the powers in charge, the heads of States, the big businesses, to come up with the big solutions. I do not intimately believe in the power of my individual actions. There is also the issue of, even if I do my share, what difference will it make, if others don’t join? Also, I am secretly hoping, that others will take care of the problem, so I do not have to give up even just a little bit of my personal comfort. Can I cheat, can I have my cake and eat it too? I am very attached to my life as I have known it in America. Things I do not really want to give up: long hot showers, letting water running while I work at the kitchen sink, using the dryer to dry our clothes, the convenience of plastic bags, shopping for clothes whenever I feel like it, plane travel, printing indiscriminately on one side of the paper, our two daily papers, not having to unplug and restart my computer each time, paying my bills using snail mail, living in my big house, being a dilettante recycler.
It all boils down to a short term personal balance sheet. What am I willing to give up in terms of personal comfort, in return for a relatively minuscule, and mostly unacknowledged, contribution to the larger pie?