Social and environmental entrepreneurship is not a always an easy path. Every day I meet at least one person commenting on my efforts with this “what’s the point?” attitude. No matter how enthusiastic I am, no matter what solutions I offer, no matter how successful the examples I show them, these people seem convinced there is nothing that can be done. Thanks to a friend of mine who told me this tale, here is where to find the beginning of an answer….

The Hummingbird tale

“One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest – a huge woodlands was suddenly engulfed by a raging wild fire. Frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest. As they came to the edge of a stream they stopped to watch the fire and they were feeling very discouraged and powerless. They were all bemoaning the destruction of their homes.

The hummingbird started swooping into the stream and picking up a few drops of water. He then went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals watched in disbelief; some tried to discourage the hummingbird, “Don’t bother,it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, it’s only a drop, you can’t put out this fire.”

And as the animals stood around disparaging the little bird’s efforts, the bird noticed how hopeless and forlorn they looked. Then one of the animals shouted out and challenged the hummingbird in a mocking voice, “What do you think you are doing?”

And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, “I am doing what I can.”

Look around you. Isn’t there something you CAN do?