You either live for something or die for nothing.
– Kip Andersen, Cowspiracy
I’m often curious how many times a person thinks, “someone else will do it”. I do it more than I would like to admit. And while I’m not proud of that fact, at least I’m willing to recognize that it’s something I seriously need to work on.
Recently, as I’ve started to try to take more action in my life, I’ve been astounded by the inaction that surrounds me. Complaining seems to have become the norm as opposed to actively trying to change circumstances. Which leads me to wonder, why? Why are we happier with being unhappy than with taking action to fix problems?
The Diffusion of Responsibility
My opinion is that we are afraid of the consequences of our actions and truly believe that something, or someone else, will fix our problems. Someday, that knight in shining armor is going to magically pop up in our lives and make all the bad stuff go away. Somehow, this idea that we can’t change the world around us has become a mainstay in modern life.
I wonder how many people during World War II believed they couldn’t enact change. Or how many people currently believe that rainforest deforestation is wrong but are doing absolutely nothing to stop it. Because one person can’t change the world. One person can’t make a difference.
But History Says We Can Change The World
But if we just take some time to think about the history of human kind, one person has made a difference in major issues in the past. Jesus, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Todd Beamer, the Tiananmen Tank Man. These people are famous today because they took the path of resistance, the path they knew may lead to terrible consequences, including death. They took it because they knew it was right.
The people that stand out, that seem to do the most good for the world, are the people who stand up. They aren’t content with ignoring wrongs. They delve into what they believe instead of putting issues to the wayside to be dealt with at another date and time. They stand up for what they know to be right in a blatant, often unhinging, way.
They don’t donate to causes. They are causes. They’re on the front lines doing the work they believe in every day, allowing their passion to drive them into tireless action.
Imagine living a life like that. Imaging knowing, as you lay on your deathbed, that you made a real difference during your life and for the future generation. Isn’t that enough to spark you to be the cause, to be the one person that is going to change the world?
What are you doing to change your world?