Standing outside the village preschool several years ago I found myself surrounded by a group of parents angrily discussing recent changes the Parish Council had made to the village playground. (Bear with me, there is a point to this!) Generally, the views expressed were along these lines:
“What They should have done was…”
“How could They possibly have spent so much money on…”
“They should never have…”
The same Parish Council recently sent around an invitation to an open meeting about devising a Parish Plan. I was on the point of putting it in the recycling bin when I realised something. “They” don’t exist. There’s only you and me. If someone was going to make sure that protecting wildlife was taken into account in devising this Parish Plan, it would probably have to be me.
It reminded me of that very well-worn story…
“There were four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”
None of us can do everything, but we all have to do something to protect grasslands and other wildlife, because They won’t. They don’t exist.
Liz Proctor, Consultant Fundraiser