What is an ocean?  

“It’s philosophical.” says Colin Beavan in No Impact Man, by doing so he’s conflicting the film title and exposing himself to the fact that, this No Impact Man is merely an performance piece or an experiment. Or is it? Perhaps it’s the right time for someone to really show up and raise the question: can we practically do something to help the environment? Like Colin says in the film, there are people out there already quietly doing the things no impact man was doing, perhaps it’s a time for someone to do it not-so-quietly. He tried hard to show the public something, tried to inspire people with his action, however unavoidably, some people does not share the same idea; people of course want to trim down that one single grass that sticks out in their yard. There, we saw Colin and his family standing alone in the field, misunderstood, and helpless.

I understand that even as a performance it isn’t perfect,  for them it was as well a learning process. On one hand I was stunned by Colin’s idealism, but on the other hand I was also greatly shocked by the differences Colin’s wife Michelle held. She had lived a materialistic consumer life, the prejudice she had towards bikers were quite absurd, until she actually realize the other side of the story by being part of it. In Michelle’s world everything has to be about “me, me, me, my house, my car, my job…etc.” Like Colin says “My Mind wants to tell me that ‘I’m the only one that’s important’ so I have to keep telling myself that it’s not true.” Not to mention her wanting another kid, while trying to be No Impact but in fact making the decision of creating the biggest impact.

So perhaps an individual has truly “no impact” on anything; One can’t make a difference.

It is true that some people can’t afford to make a choice; they have their jobs to worry about, their finance, all their life problems, but what’s the problem but the problem that the system wants you to worry about. Demand and supply, the only way for this game to be fair, both players have to be in it. All of us have to be in it, taking little steps at a time. It’s a bit slow, but it’s okay, because there’s a long way to go.

Perhaps the bigger question isn’t about the environment anymore, isn’t about whether an individual can make a different or not; perhaps it’s about the awareness, of whether an individual can wake up from the ignorance and be aware of the reality that we’re in, and make a conscious choice, the right choice they believe in, not the one they were told.

And so they say, what is an ocean, but a multitude of drops.


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