On Walking the Talk in 2018

And so, like many of you, I struggle to find balance, courage, and focus for the coming year. And I see work (a few items listed below) that is worthy of my time—a commodity in somewhat short and uncertain supply approaching three score and ten this year.

Like you, I vacillate between the urge to scream and flail and rant and the urge to assume fetal position and be passively overtaken by the tsunami of unreason, injustice, indifference and arrogant triumphalism that confronts us with each days news. But doing nothing is a ticket to becoming a victim of our own slack-jawed, inert acquiescence to actions and tweets and attitudes and values that we abhor.

That said, what can one person do—in particular, what can I do—in 2018 that might make a difference and give voice to what I believe to be the good, the honorable, the just and the true walk with what keystrokes, minutes and synapses I have remaining?

1. I can find balance between time reading about and understanding the issues (my main focus is biological and ethical) and making time to gather those resources together in a new way that might change hearts and minds. I will strive to create a deeper and more accurate understanding of the issues and their consequences in the next decade. One generation plants the trees, another enjoys their shade. If there are no trees being planted…or if they are being turned to pellets for the monster Drax in Europe..(another story returning to Fragments soon)
2. I will support the SustainFloyd Personal Climate Pledge in whatever direction it goes in the coming year. I encourage you to read online or download the packet of information—including the printable pledge—that begins to turn our individual life choices regarding energy, food, and consumption-in-general away from the precipice of environmental overshoot. (more on this soon)
3. I will give shoe leather support actively to the campaigns of Tim Kaine and Anthony Flaccavento in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
4. Through writing I can hold up the contrasts between the policies and missions and values of Mr. Griffin versus Mr. Flaccavento for voters to gain an understanding of the consequences of the two plans and divergent philosophical foundations for the future. Again, my focus will be chiefly on what these two leaders would do to ensure a healthy future for our soil, water, forests, wildlife and agricultural systems; and to follow the money and the moral choices behind those divers money trails.
5. And (this should really be #1 but it wont happen if I give full service to #1-4) I can regain the discipline and devote the many hours to do the writing towards my personal projects, and then with a new book in my hands (and readers hands of course) speak to a wide diversity of audiences, with media including my photography, on the matters in the book that I believe matter most.

What does your can-do list look like? Have you written it down and pinned it to your refrigerator yet? Why not do that today.

Author: fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

3 thoughts on “On Walking the Talk in 2018”

  1. Oh Fred. Your gumption is amazing to me. My days fill up with being wife to an 81 year old with declining mental capacity, and doing a couple volunteer duties each week. My friends and family take any remaining time, along with general homemaking. I have no other goals but to meet those needs.
    My veery best wishes for you to attain at least some of those worthy goals.

  2. Excellent, Fred! Years in Washington taught me how much one passionate person can accomplish.
    Also, Floyd County has a new, inspiring and hard working Democratic Chairman to help effect change.
    Despite the craziness (or perhaps, because of it) that we face daily from the current Administration, I am optimistic right-minded Americans will come together to save our institutions… and if we’re very fortunate…our beautiful planet.

  3. Once again, you have put into words many of the thoughts swirling in my brain. I look forward to hearing more of the thoughts swirling in your brain in 2018. I’ve missed you!

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