Everything Makes a Difference

I’m taking a little break the from writing the rest of this month, but I’m still doing lots of reading. Since meeting David B. Williams this fall and doing a couple of author events with him, I’ve enjoyed reading his regular posts. Available for free, his “Street Smart Naturalist: Notes on People, Place, and the PNW” is always informative and usually brings a smile and feelings of optimism. David’s November 24, 2021 essay, “Hope is a Baby Orca,” was so uplifting I’m hoping you’ll head over to it right now.

David took as much delight in the birth of a baby orca as I did (as I wrote in “Baby Pictures”). I also appreciate the way he wrote about other ways he sustains hope for the planet and, in particular, the waters here in the Pacific Northwest.

“The hope that I gained through my increased understanding of the human and natural history of Puget Sound is not of the wishy-washy, ‘I hope I win the lottery’ sort. My hope goes hand in hand with hard work. It may require that each of us needs to change, that we recognize and acknowledge that we have a role to play, and that we are part of the problem, as well as part of the solution.

I have also begun to reconsider the phrase ‘Nothing I do makes a difference.’ I, like many people I know, have long been daunted by it, by thinking that no matter what I do, it has little impact relative to the big polluters and consumers. I have found by simply turning that phrase around and saying ‘Everything I do makes a difference,’ that I feel more empowered.”

Chinook returned to the Elwha River, protecting their redd, photo by Steve Ringman, Seattle Times

Thanks, David, for the empowerment of the knowledge you share.


  1. I subscribed. And I wholeheartedly believe that everything we do makes a difference, a ripple, in the same way a butterfly’s wings do, that somehow affects the world. For better or worse, to be sure. But every kindness, every act of generosity, is rich in positive energy and that energy drives our world.

    Love and blessings,


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