Let It Go

©. Christine Lepisto

What's your TreeHugger motto?

I have been thinking as I get older about whether there is one piece of advice that could change the world. I guess my conclusion is “probably not,” but a refrain that nonetheless keeps bouncing around my head is “let it go.”

It seems to me that these three words can open a person to a new state of mind. What are you holding onto? Is it fears that prevent you from being all that you can be? Is it stuff that anchors you in place, exhausting your resources and preventing you from launching out in new directions? Is it regrets, anger, any other emotion that robs you of even a single second of enjoyment of the here and now? Let it go.

I don’t mean let go of memories of loved ones lost, of great moments celebrated, or lessons learned. But to grieve, to live in the past, to rue the gap between reality and perfection? Let it go.

It seems to me that it is a great TreeHugger motto. What do we have to let go as we face the fact that our choices today will determine whether future generations even get a chance to give it a go? Can we let hamburgers go, or at least re-evaluate the customs prescribing meat three times daily? Can we let go of the freedoms of personal transportation? Or the conveniences (and hygiene) of endless seas of single-use plastics? We may not have a choice. We may have to just let it go.

But if thinking about what we might lose makes you sad, let it go. Think instead, “what may we gain, once we let these things go?” Our world is organized as it is by accident, not by plan. If we put our minds to it, what could this world be?

I see a future where small slights can’t escalate to feuds or wars, because everyone can just let it go. I see a world where social media, or an entirely new capitalist model, succeeds to bring us together to share our possessions, especially the things like power tools or vehicles that just sit in storage until a rare or occasional need arises. I see a world designed by a generation of people who don’t subscribe to the status quo, a world with walking and biking spaces, monies that used to be needed for wars and stuff funneled into gorgeous public works and vast natural parks.

But then I’ve always been an incorrigible optimist.

What is the one piece of advice you think could save the world?

P.S. what does one use as an image for an article on “let it go?” If you are wondering, this picture shows what happens when the wife asks whether it is possible to make origami chopstick holders out of the paper envelop they came in. The husband wins with “dragon,” letting go entirely of the traditional form “chopstick holder.”