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When You Can't Follow Through...
We all spot problems—at work, at home, in our various clubs. Every once and while, these malfunctions cause us to flip out, stand up and list them out loud. One example? That fateful Sunday in 2008 when I took the stage at my church's annual meeting and described all the anti-eco practices of our congregation including: not recycling bulletins, drinking from Styrofoam coffee cups and using paper paper towels. Granted, I had just had a baby and was worried about mounds of American trash toxifying my young, new son's world. But did I have the energy to re-order all the supplies? Did I have the money to make up for the budgetary differences—or the connections to raise the cash? Was I ready to turn over 15 hours a week to revamping the attitudes and practices of 200 members? The long answer was: I had a newborn, a 3-year-old, a full-time job, a moonlighting job, a broken dishwasher and a case of swine flu. The short answer was (and is): Do not flap your jaws about those hitches to the system that you can't put the effort into solving. The group you just criticized will forget your critical—and hypocritical—lecture after a while. But you won't—especially during coffee hour as you scarf down another non-organic cookie.