I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to 2014. I’m hopeful, despite all the bad things that have happened around the globe this last year. I have to be. It’s not optional. I have to believe in the kindness of strangers, that there is an opportunity to grow and become a better resident of the planet – that we as a species won’t drive ourselves and every other species into extinction as we hurl forward in our quest to dominate the planet. That “we” is figurative. I personally am trying to decrease my impact on the planet which for me means lots of undoing a lifetime of being baraged with western consumer culture. And it’s particularily difficult to do at this time of year – but I think I’m making progress – even if it’s just baby steps. I want to encourage anyone who feels the same way to keep forging ahead. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that one person’s actions can make a difference. We can’t all be Malala, but it takes a lot of single water droplets to form a sea swell – each drop is essential to form the whole. So I plan on thinking about the small things I can do as part of that larger whole world I would like to live in – one in which it’s not all about me – and acting as if my actions do make a difference – because in the world I want to live in, they do.