One Option for Overwhelm – Be Bigger

During dinner, my 12 year old was unnervingly quiet.  We asked what she was thinking, expecting some girl-drama tale of woe.  Instead she somberly reeled off facts and figures about rain forest destruction.  Tears welled up as she mentioned the number of species lost just since we sat down to eat. 

Apparently, a guest speaker from EcoCycle did an excellent job conveying a sense of urgency about environmental concerns.  My daughter’s big take away, however, was to do more recycling.  She knew that just wasn’t enough and slumped at the table – a hopeless, defeated shell.

I was pretty frustrated.  How could they stir up my kid without offering more substantial ideas for affecting change?  On an intuitive level, she sensed that her energy and concern exceeded the resources, conceptual understanding, and influence required to tackle an issue of this magnitude.  I couldn’t fault her paralysis.  Most “grown ups” look away, feeling the environmental train has left the station and there’s not a way to call it back.  

Good thing the world is full of undaunted twentysomethings!  They have passion and smarts undampened by the cynicism that sometimes piles up with the birthdays.  Lily, daughter of my dear friend/colleague Viriginia, is my most current breath of fresh air.

Ironically, on the day my daughter felt overwhelmed, I received an email from Lily announcing the International English Minga which she created to help save a corner of the rainforest. Check out her 10 minute video to learn about this innovative sustainability project.  You’ll also get a boost of inspiration from watching her unfettered enthusiasm and commitment.




  1. Going bigger is exactly right, but sometimes—like the Minga—-it turns out to be simple things orchestrated in a big sphere. We definitely need more of it globally. Let’s inspire more kids with this brand of thoughtful and astute mentoring.

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