Sometimes, our foundational texts deliver a message which is hard to hear, but important. This week's Parsha is such a case. In the second chapter of the Torah, G-d breathes life into Adam and places him in the Garden of Eden "to work it and preserve it," While it is true that in the first chapter we are given rulership over the whole world, we hear about (part) of the reason in the second chapter, to keep it whole.
As many of us know, humanity has not been entirely successful in this charge. While the world is certainly improving, dramatically, year to year, our environment is not. In fact, on a global scale, the damage seems to keep mounting. It is incumbent upon all of us to try and do better in this regard. While it is true that the individual choices of one person make little difference, that all too easily becomes an excuse for indifference and inaction everyone's part.
In the past few years, we have seen a staggering change in global culture with respect to the environment. As a race, we have become increasingly conscious of the impact of our decisions. Increasingly we are trying to implement policies which improve upon the platform we have built for ourselves.
However, it is not enough for us to wait for policymakers to introduce changes to our incentive structures and help us change our behaviour. Instead, let's all proactively adopt a practice this year, however small, which will improve the way in which we treat our environment. It can be being more conscious of how we use gas and electricity, it can be reducing our use of plastics. It can be composting more diligently. Or it can be something else entirely. But let's all continue to improve and work together to make the world a better place.