A friend sent me a link to this article: Decline of wildlife in America. It’s a powerful editorial about the decline of our neighboring wildlife species. The conclusion is drawn that the wildlife is declining because of humanity. This is true, and this is sad. At the end the author implores us to let this feeling of sadness be with us, and to let it be the source of our actions.
In the book Switch, there was a section that highlighted how the Public Health dept in West Virginia wanted its people to be healthier. Instead of saying “Eat Healthy”, they aired commercials asking people to buy 2% milk instead of whole milk and they explained why: because whole milk has as much fat as 5 strips of bacon. It worked. I don’t remember the specific number but 2% milk surged in sales in areas where the commercials were aired. The lesson here is that people aren’t necessarily resistant to change, it’s just that they don’t know how to change. But when they learn of a specific way to change for the better they will adopt it.
Coming back to the article above, it serves an excellent purpose in setting the tone. I expect that is what the author intended. The article is good for tugging on emotions and for getting lots of people to look in the same direction and notice the atrocities. But in this era of over-population, economic rule, and earth plundering this feeling will easily get run over by the status quo… because, as mentioned above, most of us don’t know specifically how to make change.
In order for us to be effective as deep leaders, as leaders of social change, we need to paint the picture of destruction as this author, did but then we’ve got to follow it up with a vision of a more beautiful tomorrow. And that vision has got to be composed of specifics in order to create lasting change.
Here are some specifics: walk or bike to work; buy local products without packaging, if you have a car buy a hybrid, go zero-waste, register as a B-corp. These may seems small in the face of the challenges we face, but to think that way is to accept defeat. If you insist on small changes and insist on their importance then you have made a change in one and that’s where change starts.
P.S. I started a daily newsletter to address exactly this issue above. We all know that we’ve created a messed up world, but how do we (read: you) fix it? By learning from and being inspired by others! If you want more ideas and inspiration on how people are creating deep change, sign up for my Daily Deeply – 3 bits of good revolutionary news delivered to your inbox each work day. The full archive is on the site as well.