“We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules because the rules have to be changed. We need a system change, rather than individual change, but you cannot have one without the other. And so I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible. To do your best, is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible. Everything needs to change, and it has to start today.”
Greta Thunberg’s words adorned on the United Nations building inspire me and encourage my hope for the health and well-being of our grandchildren’s grandchildren.
Here we are down to the wire, no longer able to put off the massive changes we need to enact. If we are thriving in a decade, it will be because we put our attention to this massive problem, had deep and often painful conversations, made difficult decisions and worked hard with tools in hand. Undoubtedly, 7.7 billion hearts brimming with courage and 15.4 billion hands aching to create can build a world we can scarcely now imagine.
If we are thriving in a decade – and I mean the collective we, earth and its species and biological landscapes – it will be because we will have shifted the matrix containing our societal norms. We can evolve our social landscape, and quickly, in order to address the challenges we face.
I don’t want our legacy to be massive layers of plastics and other garbage. Rather, I want our legacy to be that of changed minds and the changed behaviors that will have allowed the future of humanity to have a chance. I want our grandchildren’s grandchildren to be able to reclaim their birthrights of an unpoisoned biological landscape, freedom from economic coercion and passion for creation.
Like Greta Thunberg, it may seem I want the impossible, but I know that we are worthy of this challenge. My loving heart, open mind and helping hands are ready. Into this deep conversation we go.
Louis Fischer wrote in his book The Essential Gandhi , “Gandhi was a unique person, a great person, perhaps the greatest figure of last 1900 years. “Although Gandhi is known mainly for getting India’s independence without violence, his accomplishments in other fields are of no less significance.
Gandhi kept a 21-day fast for Hindu and Muslim unity and later two fasts unto death to successfully stop violence among Hindus and Muslims. Gandhi also kept a fast unto death to remove untouchability.
Gandhi’s nonviolent noncooperation campaign, salt march and emphasis on spinning were designed to ameliorate poverty. Gandhi inspired women to come out of their seclusion to take part in the independence movement.
Oct. 2, 2019, would have been Gandhi’s 150th birthday. Let us give homage to such a great person on this day.
Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed a law mandating (without state funding) LGBT inclusiveness and accomplishments be included in the educational curricula. The good news is Chicago high school graduates will graduate with a secure knowledge of disparate gender identity and inclusiveness. The bad news is half of the graduates will not be able to read at the sixth grade level. Maybe they need to work on that.