What Can I Do?

July 28

I remember “What can I do?” as my whiny refrain when I was a tyke, when I’d ask my parents what I could turn my attention to that would be interesting.

Absent the whining, I have come to understand that to be the question of life. Each day, you wake up and you ask, ‘Where am I, what is there to be done, and what do I choose to do?’ There are two ways to go about answering that last question: What would be interesting? And: What needs doing? Ideally, you try to get those two things to align.

Last week I linked to a video of a guy who is planting a forest. He planted a forest and then animals returned to it. It was inspiring. But no sooner planted, than he started to worry that other people would show up to cut the trees or kill the animals. An appropriate concern.

I’m not going to tell you what your responsibilities in life are, except yes I am. I am going to give you the answer to the question of ‘What Needs Doing?’ What needs doing is saving and restoring the earth’s rich ecosystems as we inherited them, and not default to Plan B of waiting a million years or so for a different rich ecosystem to evolve after we’ve completely wrecked this one.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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