Unintended Consequences

Last week, I heard a news story about the return of the grey fox to Yellowstone National Park (with the government shutdown, the foxes returned in time to have the park free of human visitors for a time. But I digress.).  The foxes had been in danger of extinction, and because of that the deer population growth was unchecked – causing all kinds of problems.  So the fox was put on the Protected Species list, and the foxes have bred, which has increased the population – and decreased the deer population (deer being the natural prey of the grey fox).  But here’s what got my attention: with fewer deer grazing at the riverbanks, plants are holding the soil in place on the banks – less erosion – and the river has changed course.

I was thinking about this event this morning as my co-host and I were talking to our guest, Dr. Lee Hausner, about family communication.  There are times when it is tempting to give up or think “I don’t have time to talk about this now” or “how can I possibly fit a family meeting into all that I have to do” or even to think “we’ve gone too far to change anything now”.  But here’s the thing – as long as you are breathing there is a possibility for change.   Start with something small – a small win – to build your confidence.  And another. And another. And before you know it, the big shift will happen.

The river will change course.