If not you then who?
Do you ever get frustrated about all the things that aren’t happening in the world? Do you find yourself discussing the news or something that has happened at work or in your family that should be different? Do you get frustrated and fed up with other people’s lack of responsibility? Do you ever want things to be different?
In this blog I am going to talk about how we can have the outcomes we want and the best way to go about creating them.
So, for me this blog is about climate change, but for you it might be about poverty, social inequality, the state of education or the way that there is always litter in the street after the bins have been emptied.
If you are anything like me, you spend a significant amount of time discussing how things could be done better and what could be done about it. I find it relatively straightforward to make suggestions that others could do. If the problem is hard then I might be grateful that I don’t have to have the answer or do anything about it. I am often glad that I don’t have to run the country.
I suspect that there are a lot of us talking about stuff and I know for myself it is very easy to expect ‘others’ to do something about it.
This week is the second week of the COP26 climate change discussions. World leaders and interested parties coming together to make a commitment to how nations will behave over the next decade to prevent the damage to our climate from escalating. I sincerely hope that this will create policies that make a difference, AND I have a concern in my belly that it isn’t enough to leave things to other people.
I had come across the idea of a long table event a few months ago. An event where people with different viewpoints and backgrounds come together to discuss questions that are important to them. I believe that this sort of coming together with an openness to listen and create is a great starting point for change. (Let’s hope that our world leaders are bringing that to COP26).
It felt like a great idea to hold one in our local community to see what we can do collectively to make a difference around climate change. A few of us messaged people, did some social media posts and asked around. I booked the venue, sorted the food and only a handful of people were interested!
Now here is the truth, I had hoped if we got enough people together making a plan and creating some action would be easy and I wouldn’t have to do too much. Now I am faced with a small group of people. So, I cancelled the venue and the caterer and by far the simplest thing to do would be to cancel the whole event. I don’t really have time to fit anything else into my life and it would be simple to walk away. Who am I to do anything anyway?
I wrestled with all those feelings. My husband was of the opinion to wait until more people were interested. At that moment I got it! The only way to have more people interested is to start. I suggested that we meet over supper at my house. That put a couple of people off due to covid, so we are down to 6 people all of whom I already knew. Who knows where our conversations will lead?
I don’t know what will come out of the conversations. I don’t know what the next steps might look like, I don’t know what any of us will have capacity for. What I do know is that if I don’t try something I will know even less. If I don’t put my hand up and start something, why should I expect anyone else to. None of us know what the future looks like, but if we do the things that matter to us, we get a chance at shaping it. I can’t affect what happens to me, but I can affect how I react and what I do.
Action and responsibilities
It sometimes feels easier to think someone else will take responsibility and do things. What I am seeing in this is that it actually feels much more empowering to take some action myself. There is no one else to blame, criticise or moan about. Just me taking some steps that feel a little bit scary, a little bit unknown, a little bit challenging. The worst that will happen is that I tried something, and nothing more came of it.
I believe if we could all be a little bit brave and take action on the things, we would like to see differently we can change the world for the better. Perhaps it is as simple as going over and picking up the litter we have seen someone else drop. Or calling in on the neighbour we have been worried about but felt a bit too embarrassed to reach out too. Or writing a blog about how vulnerable it feels doing something that I don’t have the experience of doing.
If I don’t take action on the things I care about, who will? If you don’t take action on the stuff, you care about, who will. There is no-one else. There is you and me and the next you and me. The more each of us can be brave the more we can change our lives and the world.
Perhaps you don’t feel brave right now, perhaps you don’t feel resourced enough to do anything. If that is the case, then please join Fresh Air Friday’s Facebook group where we support you to feel good so you can create the life you want.