One Makes a Difference

By Lauren Selman | Bio

This was first published at The Life of Lauren with the title "Adventure Starts Today". It is kindly republished here with permission.

This morning, I woke up at 6:30am to get on the road. My lack of sleep over the past couple days is finally hiting me as I stumble out of bed, down the stairs and to the airport. I was blessed because my friend Melissa took me to the airport. (Thanks hun!)

I follow the signs for the Black Diamond Expert Traveler (because that’s what I am) right? In my half asleep stupor, I forget that I am wearing hiking boots which do not result in Black Diamond traveling ease. Luckily I managed to take them off in line so my slumber went unnoticed.

Once through security, I head down the terminal to get a jump start to my morning and just as a I was about to order my typical Chai Latte, I remember that I am doing the 30-Day Vegan Challenge and I catch myself short, scan the menu, only to find that they had very few items that look up my alley and needless to say were without dairy. Not to mention, their alternative of course was soy which I am semi-allergic too. I walked away with a mango juice in my hand. 

I waited in the gate which watching the latest about the Gulf. Families of the 11 killed men are talking with Obama today about how families should be more compensated for lost loved ones and that special attention should be given to health and safety, while in the same breath they supported continued offshore drilling in the Gulf. As I was befutteled by the comments, the report continued to say that it was the worst environmental disaster in my generation’s lifetime. I looked down at my hand and felt the plastic in my hand. In that moment, I began to contemplate the environmental impact of travel but also the impact of "one makes a difference." 

With the oil continuing to spill and the continuous environmental disasters all over the world, one makes a difference, but truly infrastruture (and habits) makes a difference. Take the example of my plastic mango juice in my hand. I was a traveler and although I had my reuseable waterbottle on hand, the coffee shop denied refilling it for health purposes and I had chosen to not consume animal products as an environmental stand so no go on the latte, yet there I was, still holding this plastic bottle, feeling guilty about the gulf and, yet, completely passionate and optimistic that I could do something to make a difference. My mind continued to race, "What are the other areas of environmental impact in an airport that I wasn’t seeing?" Areas like the plastic cutlery, the sugar filled snacks at the news booth, the lights used, the overpowering AC and the list continues. The thoughts eventually get so heavy that I dose off until my flight.

After 2 stops between LA and SLC, I finally make it to the SLC Leaderhouse and was greeted by a familiar face. A fellow leader who I had the pleasure of traveling with in Thailand. I put down my bags and we talked on the doorstep about our lives, time that had passed and everything in between. The contrast between the anxiety around environmental disasters and the authencity and gem of connection I had with my friend outdoors reminds me that it is true the one makes a difference, and one of the biggest ways is the difference we make to one another.

2010 Lauren Selman. All rights reserved.


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