There area lot of ways to change the world.

One way is to keep looking for and talking about ways to change the world.

But there are two problems…

Change requires belief

People need to believe that something is 1) worth changing and 2) capable of change.

If you point out something that doesn’t make any sense or could be done more effectively, efficiently, or to better outcomes, you might hear something like…

“I don’t think it’s that bad”

If they can’t see, experience, or understand the problem, they won’t believe it’s worth changing.

If they can see, experience, or understand the problem, they still need to believe it is possible for things to change.

“Yes, it’s a problem. But, it’s not realistic to change try and change it.”

People often talk about what is possible or realistic as something objective and agreed upon.

Instead, what is actually possible or realistic has always been a matter of belief and action.

Change requires action

If you describe something horrible in the world like injustice or violence, you might hear something like…

“What can we really do. It’s just the way it is.”

You can hear the genuine resignation in every word.

The idea of taking action feels so out of reach.

The thought of doing anything feels pointless.

Learn Your Lines. Memorize the Script.

All of these responses are entirely predicable. We’re taught this posture.

  • We learn to revere power, not question it.
  • We learn to resign ourselves to the status quo, not challenge it.
  • We learn that our efforts don’t amount to change, so we don’t make the effort.

We can learn new lines.

We have to start by unlearning the old ones.

Thinking About Change

Whenever I catch myself feeling resigned or boxed in, I forced myself to critically examine those thoughts.

I remind myself of two fundamental truths:

  1. The future is not set; our collective beliefs and actions will shape it.
  2. Progress is the result of many small actions.

Important change throughout history happened because people believed in something better being possible.

With few exceptions, none of those changes happened quickly nor as a result of an enormous individual effort.

A Timeless Script For Change…

We need to do two things all the time…

  1. Believe that change is possible
  2. Take action, no matter how small

We don’t need to accept a narrative that better is too far out of reach.

We don’t need to give in to the apathy and hopelessness that we’re bombarded with.

We can get involved in changing the world every waking moment of our lives.

We need only choose a different way of seeing the world, and let it guide our actions.

“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”

-Angela Davis

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