As I look out at the gray October afternoon and wonder where we’re headed
environmentally, it’s easy to get overwhelmed – there’s so
much that needs to be done, and what effect can one person have anyway? Especially
when faced with global warming, an increasingly polarized political environment,
That’s when I recall one of the key takeaways from a recent chapter event
featuring Ian Woodall, who led 5 expeditions to Mt. Everest between 1996 and
2007. In his talk, “The Tao of Everest,” Ian made a lot of salient
points, but in the work we do for the environment, whether we volunteer or get
paid for it, one in particular stands out:
“Concentrate on can-do’s: In any given situation one should resist
the natural inclination to prevaricate and do nothing, and should endeavor to
take ownership of the problem by concentrating on what can be done, however
limited, and not allow oneself to be overwhelmed by all those things which can’t
be done. Sometimes we may not be the best person for the job, but we may be
the only person for the job.”
The Sierra Club’s DC Chapter is effective because of the dedicated chapter
leaders, the dozens of volunteers, and hundreds of members, each of whom have
had some part in making the District a better place, from taking leadership
on an issue or project to calling or emailing your councilmember to support
a key environmental initiative. Each did what he/she could do at the time, and
the results over the years speak for themselves.
It’s in this context that I invite you to visit our chapter website, http://dc.sierraclub.org/,
check out the calendar and news items, and pick out something that interests
you. Send an email to the contact and see how you can help. It’s that
simple. Or you can contact our outreach coordinator Brenna
Muller (202-548-4581) and talk with her about the many volunteer opportunities.
And of course, you can contact any of us on the chapter
executive committee or chapter leadership.
Thank you for your support as members, and I look forward to all the great work
we’ll be able to do together.