The new year often causes us to hope — as always — for better times. As I lived through a difficult 2022, I stopped thinking about time in terms of months or years, taking my father’s saying to heart: “life is a cinch by the inch, but hard by the yard.” Biting off smaller chunks encouraged me to “try” that which at first glance seemed too difficult. 

Benji Backer, leader of the American Conservation Coalition, recommends the act of “trying” in his article: “Congress should embrace a bipartisan approach to the environment.” When asked how he managed to host a successful bipartisan dinner party of national representatives to discuss climate solutions, he said “I actually tried.” A good motto for each day of the year. 

What would you do if you believed that your individual act of “trying” had an impact on creating a healthy environment? What if we thought beyond our resolve to exercise more and imagined cleaner, safer and kinder neighborhoods to thrive in? What if we replaced “that will never work” with the words “I will try”?  

Opinion: What would you do if you believed your actions really impacted the environment?

As I started small and had success, I was inspired to go bigger. Success breeds success. Now I am writing letters like this for publication and calling my members of Congress to ask for effective climate legislation. 

President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure.” When Americans are encouraged to innovate, and individuals do their part, our planet is a better home for all. Let us all try, government leaders, entrepreneurs and citizens, to lead the efforts needed to provide our common home with a safe and healthy climate. 

The world is watching and may just follow!  

Karen Jackson

Salt Lake City