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Hope (Part 1)

Updated: Nov 19, 2022


 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

- Margaret Mead



This is the beginning of a series of shorter blog posts in which I will regularly share shorter reflections on issues related to A Biosphere Project. These shorter reflections are meant to inform, inspire, and also give you hopeful energy.


One of the intentions of my project is to help raise awareness and, most importantly, to inspire you to take action of your own.


My hope is that you who read this will not only take note and may or may not agree with what I write and show, but that in some way you may be inspired to do something yourself in this confluence of ecological crises that we are in the midst of.

The idea that you can make a difference may seem strange and unbelievable to you. We often think that to make a difference we need to do something big, noticed by millions. We need to start seeing that in a different perspective.

Your intention or action can be something ‘small’ or ‘local’ that may seem insignificant at first glance (I put those words in quotes because they are actually based on misunderstandings). The idea that a small or local action is insignificant in the bigger picture is a result of other beliefs that we collectively hold that result in us being reluctant to actually put our ideas into action.

I believe that we must urgently stop assuming that our actions do not matter. Every intention and action makes a difference, and you can never be sure what the result of your initiative will be.


I suspect that as a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl, Greta Thunberg had no idea that her initially solitary Friday sit-ins in front of the Swedish Parliament would have such an impact on the whole world, inspiring millions of young and old to hope and act on such a massive scale.

But you certainly don't have to be Greta Thunberg to make a difference. Every intention and action has an effect, and you don't need to inspire millions of people to help initiate a major change in society. Inspiring three people is enough. I'll explain that in one of the next blog posts.


Greta Thunberg in front of the Swedish parliament. Photo: Adam Johansson/ WeDontHaveTime.org


When I say ‘your own action’, I do not mean trying to reduce your own ‘carbon footprint’, taking shorter showers, eating less or no meat, or limiting your consumption. Many people are already well aware of the impact of their lifestyles on the planet, and are already taking big and small steps to reduce that impact. These individual initiatives to change your behavior and your impact on our planet are also very important, but will not be enough in themselves to achieve the great transformation that our society will have to go through.

We expect that our governments and institutions will eventually do what is necessary, but we are mistaken. Our governments are so intertwined with the system that needs to change that they are structurally incapable of initiating that change.

We will have to do that ourselves, and force our governments and other institutions to make the necessary changes. But to do that we ourselves must be aware of what our situation is and what is needed. And to do so, we must also believe that we are actually capable of helping to initiate a major shift in society.


As Robert Swan put it, "the greatest threat to the planet is the belief that someone else will save it." We all have to be part of this.


More about Greta, own actions, and why there is much reason for hope in the next blog post.

With this I wish you all a great week.


All the best,

Filip


 

Questions for contemplation:


Do you believe that your intentions and actions can have a significant impact on the world?

If not, why not?

If so, how?


And what kinds of things do you think a ‘significant impact’ might consist of?








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