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The Ripple Effect


“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” Rachel Carson

Recently my family and I returned from a cross country road trip. We drove from New York to Colorado. Aside from wanting to avoid riding on an airplane and the hassle that goes along with it I wanted to take hold of the opportunity to show my children how big the country is. I wanted to expose them to the idea that there is more to the world than just our own back yard.

At one point we found ourselves driving through Iowa admiring the massive wind turbines that dot the landscape. They were beautiful, almost majestic and though they are such a primitive idea they almost looked like they were straight out of a sci-fi movie. Viewing these giants lead to a good conversation between my wife and my daughter. The point was driven home that there are responsible ways to live and then there are irresponsible ways as well, in the end it is up to you to make the right choice because it has a ripple effect and touches everyone along the way.

When we returned from our trip I was busy unpacking and I heard my daughter crying “No mommy, no!”. I asked Meghann what was wrong and she said that Sophia was upset that the village employees were mowing down all the flowers by the walking trail. I looked out of our front door and this piece of machinery was shredding plant life without prejudice. Oak and maple branches 10 feet in the air were being devoured as well as the more delicate Queen Anne’s lace and black eyed Susan on the ground. My wife tried to comfort my daughter by telling her that it was a good thing that she was so concerned about nature. I stood there feeling a bit ashamed that I had become so numb to it all that I had not even noticed the destruction taking place right by my own back yard. The ripple effect had reached my shore.

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