“What difference does it make?” “I can’t change it anyway.” “Why should I bother?” “I don’t feel like going to the meeting.” “Someone else can do it.”

We have all heard people say one or all of these things, many of us have said them ourselves. Faced with the crush of bad news and relentless assaults on fundamental environmental protections it is pretty understandable to feel a little hopeless, even helpless. It is that helplessness that makes it easy not to even try, to give in to the exploiters and robber barons that pick things clean and leave the scraps behind. It is, in fact, what they want us to feel because it makes their work easier.

But every now and then I am reminded that individuals do make a difference; that commitment and courage do matter and that good people can not only fight back but can set the agenda and create a path forward. The recent loss of a dear friend who lived that life of commitment, service, courage and most of all, achievement has given me a moment to reflect.

So rather than dwell on the questions of hopelessness, the better ones might be “what needs to be done?” and “have I done enough?” I can do more. My guess is we all can. I am going to try harder. I ask you to as well. If we don’t stand up for our environment, no one else will either.

Rest in Peace, Judy Mills.