Why I’m not waiting for the government to act on the environment
Social and cultural change generally start from outside government. Government nearly always follows.
Mandela, Gandhi, King, Havel, etc all started outside government. I’d love to see government lead, but the most effective thing for anyone who wants government to act to do is to act first.
That’s why I’m acting, or one of the reasons. When enough other people see the pattern, they’ll stop blaming others’ inaction and act themselves. Then politicians will see where the votes are going.
I’m pretty sure Gandhi had situations like this in mind when he suggested to be the chance you wanted to see. The more you live by your values the better your life, even if others aren’t doing it. No amount of material pleasure can make up for living against your values.
This quote doesn’t perfectly overlap, but its spirit is somewhat relevant, or at least motivates me:
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. â€” Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
It doesn’t say “it is their duty to wait for government to act.” It says it’s their duty to act, which stands when you want government to act, not just for overthrowing it.
You can wait, but I’m not waiting for government to lead, nor do I want future generations to look back at me and ask why I waited to act when the signs were clear.
I want future generations to look back at me as I look at Franklin, Paine, Jefferson, Washington, and you know the rest.
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees