“TO-DO: SAVE THE WORLD. EASY. NO PROBLEM. GOT IT.”
What is our personal world?
This is our assumptions, our beliefs, our values, and overall our world views.
In this post I talk a little bit about how our personal bubble- I like to think about our bubble as a raindrop- is just a water droplet in a larger cloud. Without the water droplets, we cannot have a cloud.
In the past week, I have had a few conversations with people about change in society and their role in that change. I have spoken with people about their beliefs and assumptions in supporting an organisation that works on societal change. Some common things that I have heard this past week are:
– “I cannot make an impact myself for change”.
– “I cannot make a difference because I am not very environmental”
– “I fly a lot, so I cannot support an organisation”
These comments got me thinking a lot. I’ve wondered to what extent does individual change matter? Should we take on the burden of the responsibility alone? Can we still be a part of change on a higher level than individual level if our personal actions are not there yet?
“I cannot make an impact myself for change”
Our personal sphere- we as a raindrop- matter! We matter because the system- the society- is not this ‘out there’ separate thing from us. We are a part of society. We make up society. Without us there would not be this thing called society!
Because we have put names to our places or roles within our system such as an individual, a family, friendship groups, co-workers, businesses, government, local councils, etc. it can often bring separation between us. Linguistically, it makes us sound like we are separated out into these different boxes. But in reality all of these boxes overlap, and are not really boxes at all. We matter for change because we all, no matter the role(s) we give to ourselves, make up society. There is an intricate dynamic between all the roles. We cannot separate ourselves from this idea. When we begin to have conversations about change, we have the ability to influence everyone we interact with; we influence our own spheres within the system. When we influence one person, they begin to influence their own spheres. And hence it can ripple further and further. In this way, change can become more of a norm.
“I cannot make a difference because I am not very environmental” “I fly a lot, so I cannot support an organisation”
If we agree thus far that our individual beliefs, values, and world views matter, I think we should also consider –>BUT how much?? Does change involve a little more than just change on the individual level?? I don’t wish to detract away from the importance of individual change since we are so interwoven, but we do need to zoom out a little.
This article really struck me. People often comment about the pressure they feel to change, and I very much feel the same way. I feel so much pressure to “be the change”. But it is not easy; we come across so many barriers because the system does not help us as individuals to change. In this way, sometimes I think we should not focus too hard on individual change. We need to address change in a bigger picture.
It IS quite hard to bring about change within wider society from making changes yourself and setting an example. Luckily for us, water droplets do attract each other and come together! We recognise that it is easier to have an impact when we work together. An example is that we can join organisations with similar world views to help us as together we have a larger voice, we can reach more people, we can share more ideas, and we can support one another.
If one is aware that change needs to happen in society to reduce our impact on the planet, but has not made personal changes themselves, THAT IS OK! We cannot blame ourselves as we cannot take on ourselves all the changes that need to occur. In this way, I believe YES you can join a group working on change, even if you are not yet open to change yourself. This may come in time from the support of the other spheres in society such as organisations, companies, and governments.
We need support from the larger levels in society other than at the single individual level. If you are not willing to change yourself just yet, in some ways this is ok!
This was a fairy difficult blog for me to write because of the intricate dynamics in society. It’s quite hard to grasp the different levels in society from the individual level and up through to the small and larger groups of individuals…… and how we are interrelated. The main message is that everyone matters and never underestimate your importance BUT be critical. We must realise that it is not all about individual change. We need support from the other levels.