Just because we fear something doesn’t mean we should give up the good fight. I realise that being afraid or angry about what may pan out in the future can become paralyzing, but it is just one of the seven stages of change (stage 1 and 3).
On the contrary, we need to work harder, because the fear has helped us to articulate, in our own minds, the possible consequences of inaction. We all move through fear now and again, but we must not let it curb our determination to overcome whatever hardships we may face down the track.
By not acting when learning vital information is just asking for trouble. No one has all the answers, especially me. I just do what I think is right at the time.
This brings me to a comment that I received on the last post titled “I Fear That…“, which I believe warranted a more detailed response.
“I’m wondering Gavin do you really think that what you are doing is making a difference to the environment? do you really think that ripping out lawns and ornamentals and replacing them with veges and fruit trees is making an impact on our environment? even if every single house did the same thing? do you really think you’re being kind to our environment by buying milk to make cheese? or building a pizza oven?
I’m not trying to be critical of you personally- because I personally do a lot of the same things that you do yourself (I have a vege garden and fruit trees that I’m trying to sustain my family on- I try and limit my consumerism and buy second hand whenever I can, I recycle etc), yet really I don’t feel like it is contributing at all and it’s frustrating me.”
The simple answer is a resounding Yes, but not directly. Let me explain.
My family’s personal environmental foot print reduction is but a drop in the ocean, and in itself will not make on iota of difference to our changing climate. This is the plain and simple truth. I am a realist, after all.
However, by setting an example and showing people around me that it is possible to change behaviours and lower consumption, for the better I might add, then anyone else can do the same.
It is from many little changes that big changes happen. Being vocal in what you believe needs to change influences others, who then, when they change their behaviours, go on to further influence other people in their lives.
As far as I am concerned, it is this type action at the local level that will help all of us get through this mess. We need to stop thinking in our western hyper-individualistic manner and re-build community action, whether it be a group of like minded people who try to convince governments to man-up (or woman-up) and grow a pair, and start drastically reducing GHG emissions to reduce our impact.
Or as an individual, teaching others how to grow their own food, or build their own outdoor oven, or raising chooks for the time if or when the crunch does come.
Each person has a part to play in this effort to transform and transition away from our destructive economy.
So go ahead readers. Make your individual actions, and be proud of them, but I ask you to take the next step. Tell others about your actions, how they make you feel, and why you going to the effort to make them in the first place. This will make others stop and think, because people trust those they know, more than they would some politician or celebrity giving them the same message.
What are your thoughts on this type of change? Do you think individual actions make a difference? Have I made a difference to the way you think?