As I drove out to the hospital this morning, I carefully passed a large group of RAGBRAI riders. They looked strong. Later my wife told me about the big grass roots movement to save the Monarch butterflies that I had managed somehow to overlook. Volunteers are asking the Iowa cyclists to distribute milkweed pods along roadsides to provide food and places for the butterflies to lay their eggs.
I rarely see monarch butterflies these days but I caught one on camera last year out on the Clear Creek Trail near our neighborhood.
This reminds me of another kind of grassroots movement, which was to create an alternative to Maintenance of Certification (MOC) by launching a free online journal club last year, Psychiatry Online Lifelong Learning (POLL), on LinkedIn. It didn’t work out but the logo was supposed to be a butterfly:
The butterfly image was inspired by the metaphorical butterfly effect based on the idea that the beating of a butterfly’s wings could influence the path and timing of a hurricane. It was our hope that a small perturbation could lead to a major change. POLL hit the dirt back in June 2014 after we got close to zero participation for about 6 months on the LinkedIn site. But with every misstep the boards make pushing the impractical MOC and with every physician who signs on to the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons, the winds of change get a little stronger.
It looks like RAGBRAI riders are really getting behind the save the monarchs campaign, though, and I’m glad. We need to save grass roots movements, too.