Shortly after I first became a father in 2002, I began to have a recurring dream several times a week. In the dream I was filling a paddling pool in the garden for my daughter. A hose led from an outside tap, through which cold water flowed into the pool. I also had a large bucket which I kept taking into the kitchen to fill with warm water, then returning to empty it into the pool. Even though it was a sunny day, I wanted the water in the pool to be warm and comfortable for my little girl, so I continued to go back and forth to the kitchen.
I had this same dream many times, then one night the dream changed. Instead of the small paddling pool, I now saw a vast pool which stretched to the far horizon. Around the edge of this pool for as far as I could see, were other houses and other people with their children. Like me, some of the people were making trips into their houses and filling buckets with warm water to empty into the pool. Others just stood waiting impatiently, occasionally dipping their hands into the water to check the temperature.
At the time I did not understand why I kept having this dream, but now I have the wisdom of Happy Cow to turn to, its message is very clear. The vast pool represented the world in which my daughters will have to grow up. Some of the parents were doing what they could to make sure that the world which their children would inherit would be a warm one, full of love, cooperation, understanding and compassion. Others clearly thought there was nothing much that they could do, and so just waited, hoping that vast pool would somehow become warm enough for their children to paddle in.
Those people did not understand that each of us has our individual part to play, that what seems like even the smallest positive action can help to change the world.
"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." - Edward Everett Hale
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