My father picked me up from school one day, and we played hooky and went to the beach. It was too cold to go in the water, so we sat on a blanket and ate pizza. When I got home, my sneakers were full of sand, and I dumped it on my bedroom floor. I didn’t know the difference, I was six. My mother screamed at me for the mess, but he wasn’t mad. He said that billions of years ago, the world shifting and the oceans moving brought that sand to that spot on the beach, and then I took it away. Every day, he said, we change the world which is a nice thought until I think about how many days and lifetimes I would need to bring a shoe full of sand home until there is no beach until it made a difference to anyone.
Every day, we change the world, but to change the world in a way that means anything that takes more time than most people have. It never happens all at once, it’s slow, it’s methodical, it’s exhausting. We don’t all have the stomach for it.