When we think of individuals who made a difference, we often go grandiose: Christ, the Buddha, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Gandhi. People who changed the course of history; who inspired thousands—if not millions—of followers.
We think of them as powerful, but none of the individuals above were wealthy, or backed by an army; only one even held political office–and that was following many years in prison. They had no way of knowing in advance that their actions would spark a movement. Nevertheless they pursued justice, or equality, or the easing of human suffering, whether anyone followed them, or not.
In this way, we each can make a difference. As this month’s interview subject, Julia Butterfly Hill, says, “We can’t help but make a difference. So what kind are we going to make?”
From an esoteric viewpoint, if everything is energy, then our every thought, word, and deed influences the energetic field. Are we walking peacefully–impressing the ground with gentleness in every step? Are we creating beauty and harmony in our relationships and personal space? Are we practicing gratitude and appreciation? What is our intention in every moment? Like pebbles causing ripples in a pond, we never know what distant shore our actions may touch. And together, many ripples make a mighty wave.
Through the years, The MOON has interviewed many individuals who have made a difference—quietly and purposefully leading by example, whether anyone follows or not: Sabriye Tenberken, Immaculée Ilibagiza, Matthew Stephens, Acosia Red Elk, Pancho Ramos Stierle, Tim DeChristopher, and many others.
In this issue, we share interviews with two more people who put their personal power into action. Julia Butterfly Hill is an environmental activist, best-known for spending two years in the branches of an old-growth redwood to prevent a logging company from cutting it down. As she herself admits, it was never her intention to become the world’s longest tree-sitter. She just went up one day—and then didn’t come down until the logging company agreed to save the tree and improve its practices.
Our second interview is with David Gross, who also penned the amazing essay, “The one-man revolution: the only one that’s coming.” In the limited time we have on the planet, he believes, we can’t wait for the world to live in accordance with our values. We have to live in accordance with our values now—the only time we’re promised.
We have two other essays this month: Michael Pilarski looks back on a lifetime of work planting trees and repairing the Earth, while Christina Hornett honors the aunt who reconnected her with her Indigenous roots when her parents couldn’t.
We have four (!) excellent stories this month: Elizabeth Hoyle’s Special Delivery; J.D. Michael’s Duty; John Betton’s Filmmaker; and Paul Lamb’s Twice Blest. Plus poetry by Paula Rudnick, MOON Shine, and Movies You Might’ve Missed (but shouldn’t)!
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