So, here’s the story:
Life is a series of decisions — the decisions we make and the decisions we don’t necessarily realize we’ve made. Whether we’re going with the flow or taking charge, decisions have to be made. Even when we opt not to make a decision, we’ve made a decision. And decisions matter.
It might be true that there are six billion people in the world and counting. Nevertheless, what you do makes a difference. It makes a difference, first of all, in material terms. Makes a difference to other people and it sets an example. In short, I think the message here is that we should never simply write ourselves off and see ourselves as the victim of various forces. It’s always our decision who we are.
About 17 years ago, I met someone who changed my life forever. She taught me a lot of different things, but one of her most important and enduring lessons was to live my life in a more decisive fashion. As Dr. Solomon noted above, who we are and how we live matters.
In the intervening years, I’ve strived to make decisions that I can say with some degree of confidence will leave the world in sightly better condition than I found it. Some of the time I’ve succeeded in that effort, and other times less so. But on the whole, that lesson has served me pretty well:
- I’ve made and continue to grow and evolve with some tremendous friends;
- Worked with some driven students committed to making education more accessible (among many other things);
- Helped to start some relatively important conversations that sought to foster real dialogue and engagement;
- Been involved with an innovative organization aimed at empowering average people to make big differences through small actions, managing their award-winning energy efficiency campaign in Alberta;
- Married a stunning, strong, and wildly intelligent woman (who also changed my life forever) and had a beautiful child who blows my mind every single day;
- Tried to get a couple of truly inspiring politicians elected leaders of their parties both federally and provincially;
- And started my own pretty cool little business.
That was all going swimmingly up until about five months ago (pretty much to the day). Five months ago, something else changed my life. This time it was a Rolling Stone article by Bill McKibben called Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.
With my child sleeping on my chest, the realities that McKibben described in his article hit me in a way they hadn’t before. I decided that for all my efforts, I wasn’t doing enough. I needed to do more to impact the world around me and I needed to do it in a way that was more direct and more tangible.
As I started looking around for ways to do more, I came across the posting for SumOfUs.org‘s Canadian Campaign Manager. This job seemed perfect to me. It seemed like exactly what I needed to be doing.
So I came up with an idea…