January 15, 2013

Making Changes for The Better World

"Make it Better World" - Agent of Change Movement

Life Doesn't Get Better by Chance, It Gets Better by Change. The reality is a price point for social change has not happened yet. Capitalism requires scarcity for something to become valuable. When we have reduced our natural capital to a place where is it no longer profitable, only then will capitalism point us in the next direction. Should we let the 'Free Market' decide?

Perhaps action requires some foresight then? Look in the direction everything is heading... now choose the direction you want to end up.

When we think that into another large, unique issue to this potential movement is that people don't see an alternative to the way that we live. This is the life that our parents lived and our grandparents strove for. It's not even that the life we lead is truly so great and happy, we just think it makes us happy. It's the way it has always been so it must be the right way. Most people cannot even fathom that a simpler, alternative lifestyle could make us happy - let alone happier. I think that in the other social movements referenced there was a clear, easily envisioned and obviously better future to be fought for, which is not the case here and now.

Now, all of those are good things to do. When we shop, it’s good to choose products without toxic chemicals and unnecessary packaging, made by locally-based companies that treat their workers well. But our real power is not in choosing from items on a limited menu; it is in determining what gets on that menu. The way to ensure that toxic, climate-disrupting choices are replaced with safe and healthy alternatives – for everyone, not just those who can afford them – is by engaging as citizens: working together for bigger, bolder change than we could ever accomplish as individual consumers.

Look back at successful movements – civil rights, anti-apartheid, the early environmental victories – and you’ll see that three things are needed to make change at the scale we need today.

First, we need a Big Idea of how things could be better – a morally compelling, ecologically sustainable and socially just idea that will not just make things a little better for a few, but a lot better for everyone. Millions around the world already have that idea: an economy based on the needs of people and the planet, not corporate profit.

Second, we need a commitment to work together. In history’s most transformative social movements, people didn’t say “I will perfect my individual daily choices,” but “We will work together until the problem is solved.” Today, it’s easier than ever to work together, online and off.

Finally, we need all of us who share that Big Idea to get active. We need to move from a place of shared concern, frustration and fear to a place of engaged citizen action. That’s how we build the power to make real change.

We have to aim high, work together and act boldly. It’s not simple, and it won’t be easy. But history is on our side. Let’s get to work to make the kind of change we know is possible.

I used to think the truth would set us free. Like many who care about the environment, Annie Leonard spent years thinking that information would lead to change. So she wrote reports, gave speeches, even testified before Congress. Some things changed. Sadly, the big picture didn’t.

We definitely need change, but remember that change begins with us and taking steps in our own lives!

Curated from Annie's inspiring videos and written posts

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