A guy shows up at a Halloween party dressed in regular clothes.
The hosts in their fancy costumes quickly pull him aside. “Dude,” they say, “this is a costume required party.”
“I am in costume,” he says. “I’m dressed as a serial killer. They look just like everyone else.”
It’s an old joke, but it’s got more than a grain of truth to it.
It’s the biggest reason our (fictional) monsters usually look different from us. It’s easier to deal with the monsters when they are so visibly other.
It’s why we are so quick to find the ways that people who do horrific acts are different from “normal”.
But the reality is that horrific things are done by people just like us. People who could be us.
People who – well, they are us.
The scariest version of that joke costume has to be my COSTUME for this year: “Person who doesn’t care about the environment.”
It’s easy to feel nihilistic and hopeless about the environment right now. We’ve been ignoring this literally my whole life. I mean, I wrote a short story about global warming in the early eighties in sixth grade.
I almost – almost – envy the true-blue climate change deniers. They get to ignore the massive scale of things, the way that billions of small actions (and many, many large actions by corporations) add up to an impending disaster that we have a hard time comprehending, let alone combating.
Despite the hopes of a big science-y solution that will fix everything in one fell swoop – check out GREENSWORD if you want to read a dark comedy that skewers that idea – there isn’t a workable solution on the horizon.
That’s why this video from Viva La Dirt League hit me so hard.
This is a simple, easy, meaningful way for us to stop being the monster, and start being the hero.
They’re teaming up with #teamtrees (who work with the Arbor Day Foundation) to make donations work in a quick and efficient way. Every dollar donated results in a tree planted.
And that’s something.
Each dollar by itself is insignificant.
But each light left on was insignificant by itself. Each wasted sheet of paper was insignificant by itself.
It’s taken billions of small monstrous steps for us to get where we are.
It’ll take billions of small heroic steps to walk us back from the brink.
Get stepping. And get donating at teamtrees.org