This morning, when driving into the country to pick up my daughter from Girl Scout camp, I was captivated by an interview on NPR. Krista Tippett was interviewing Sister Joan Chittister on the “Speaking of Faith” program.Chittister‘s an activist, a sister of Mount St. Benedict’s Monastery in Erie, Pennsylvania, a best-selling author, a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter — oh, she’s also the co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, an interfaith group. Tippett asked Chittister how she copes with the inevitably slow response to calls for change within a large organization. A portion of her answer could apply to any movement, including the Amphibian Ark campaign to avert the mass extinction of amphibians:
“It takes a long time for ideas to seep to the top, let alone to move the bottom, so you just realize that what is going on right now is simply the seeding of the question. It comes down to how many snowflakes does it take to break a branch — I don’t know but I want to be there to do my part, if I’m a snowflake.”
Walking away from the problem isn’t an option. “I am conscious, and therefore I am responsible,” she said.
The challenge, therefore, is to create armies of the conscious — a blizzard of big, heavy snowflakes — to bring down the branch in time. The branch, in our case, is raising the funds to put the 500 most threatened amphibian species on the Ark.
Want to be a big, heavy snowflake?
Visit the donations page on the Amphibian Ark Web site, for starters. Contact your government representatives to ask them to look into the problem and ways that your tax dollars can be put to use against the problem. And just stay conscious.