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Perspective: Where Does One Begin?

Dan Kenney

“Everywhere you look there seems to be another sign of a civilization and a planet coming apart.”

I have had conversations that eventually hit this brick wall of reality. Someone asks, “Where do you begin?” And suddenly, those around the table fall silent.

Where do we start to address the large complex issues of our time? We start here. On the spot of Earth we find ourselves. Start in our own neighborhoods, communities.

There is not one grand answer. Only millions of small answers. Each choose one local problem that speaks loudest to you. Find others who share your concern. Join together, then reach out and find more. One-by-one you will build a local group that is taking on a local problem. And in doing so you will have taken your place among millions of others that are doing what they can in their own spots.

As Senator Robert Kennedy, “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Each of us is responsible for only our own ripple.

I’m Dan Kenney, and this is my perspective.

Dan Kenney is a retired elementary school teacher and the founder of DeKalb County Community Gardens. He's also a published poet and writer.