Moving Mountains

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This post was originally written on 22 May 2011 but was updated on April 13, 2020 with updated info about a few of the causes.

The kids and I were reading Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss today. Every couple of pages, M would ask “what could this represent?” and we would talk about the different parts of life. At the end it comes to “Kid, you’ll move mountains…” and we started talking about what kind of mountains people are moving.

I think about Shannen, the teenager who worked to try to get more funding for education on native reserves in Canada. She died in a car accident at fifteen years old but her friends and family continued her campaign, attempting to move a mountain (the federal government) to get funding that would mean the world of difference to children who were growing up without a real school building. The new school opened in August 2014!

I think about all the people who managed to  stop a megaquarry from being built two hundred meters below the water level in Melancthon Township, Ontario. The megaquarry was expected to drain 600 million litres of water every day as well as destroying prime agricultural land.

I think about people working to save seeds from traditional crops so that they can preserve the biodiversity and help people find the right seeds to plant for their needs. Or people working on developing new strains of perennial wheat whose long roots would be better able to deal with drought. I think about gardeners growing extra rows of vegetables to donate to food banks and of volunteers that help haul surplus food from restaurants and grocery stores to food banks.

I think about the people in my city who are working to make roads safer for bike riders and of people who are restoring life to lakes and rivers.  I think about Jane Goodall and her Roots and Shoots organization that encourages young people to take actions to help care for animals and the environment. Or about the people who are working at developing alternative building methods or more environmentally friendly cement. Or all the people trying to bring about the political pressure to get our governments to do something about climate change (like Citizens Climate Lobby, to name just a few.) Or the Green Party.

Or all the teachers and educators out there trying to reach out to children and make a difference in the lives of so many individuals. Or the people who developed the Howard Zinn Project to help teach history. Or the people at Unions Yeah trying to change the way people look at taxes and public services.

These are just a few of the things that come to my mind. I could go on and on. There are so many people in so many places trying to take action to work for justice, for people, for the environment. There are so many people doing all sorts of different things. There are days when I worry about what will happen in this world. There are days when I am scared and depressed and tired. But it helps to think of all those people out there doing good. There is hope because there are so many people out there trying to make a difference. And I think everyone has opportunities to make differences, to move mountains.

Who are some of the people that inspire you? What are some of the mountains your watching, hoping to see moved?

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