Although I love a soap box as much as the next community advocate, I can’t get behind making my case based on some version of taking the moral high ground. That is not to say that individuals don’t bear some responsibility, or that I have given up on those who don’t seem to care as much as I do. What worries me is the notion that individual actions alone are the motor of change. This idea deeply appeals to our rugged individualist mentality, the poverty of our imagination, and the dearth of our experience in really working together.
We are too often lulled into a kind of complacency that “if I just do all the right things, in the right way, then I’ve done what is possible.” But that is a fallacy that unfortunately comes to stand in for the real change that is necessary to save our planet.
Our work needs to be a personal commitment to reimagining our collective relationship to each other and our environment as one organic unit. For ultimately that is our reality: one planet, one home, one human family. We must understand that we can only make the needed changes in cooperation with each other and by being accountable personally and socially. The past and present exploitation, oppression, and tyranny of inhuman social systems must be atoned for, amends made, and new paths forged.
Our work is creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable society together. We can start with extending grace: the act of offering kindness, compassion and good will with a fierce and tenacious passion for human regard, dignity, and justice. We need to cultivate the grace to treat our most important resource — the earth — the same way.
Nancy J. Meyer
Community Forklift CEO