This realization hit me this morning. It will seem counterintuitive, especially to people living in overdeveloped countries. The majority of people in them see people suffering from environmental destruction and want to focus on helping them. We should help them, but we should realize they aren’t causing the problems.
The more resources, especially time and money, someone has, the harder it is for them to stop polluting and depleting. Almost everyone who reads these words doesn’t remotely live sustainably but cares and wants to do what they feel is the right thing. They see corporations and governments polluting more and think they’re doing what they can.
On the contrary, they are as much the problem as anyone and their resistance to see their contribution, how much they could change, and how much they’ll prefer their lives after changing prevents them from acting.
My task now, as a leader, is to find how to express this view so it helps polluters see their time and money holds them back. Yes, people suffering deserve our help, but no, they aren’t causing their own suffering. I found a couple ways to look at it.
Among people addicted to a drug, the heaviest users will have the hardest time stopping. They’re the most addicted. As much as the users deserve help, if you don’t shut down the factories and stop the heaviest users from funding them, you won’t solve the problem.
Abused children deserve help, but they aren’t abusing themselves. The adults may feel like they’re showing love for them, and giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they were raised abused don’t know any different, but they’re causing the problem, not the children. Yes, help the children but no, they aren’t causing their own suffering. The people abusing them are the ones to change.
Different people got their time, money, and resources in different ways, but often through benefiting from systems like non-free trade and non-democratic politics, which America is rife with, so oppose changing the system, no matter how much it pollutes and depletes. They likely genuinely believe they are helping those suffering from environmental problems from doing things that keep them among the most polluting and depleting.
That’s my update today. Possibly rambling, but hot off the presses. I’ll keep refining this message. I think it could be groundbreaking if I learn to communicate it effectively.
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