“I will do the best I can.” – Wangari Maathai, Story of the Hummingbird
The topic of the Power of One has been popping up everywhere in my life lately. I’ve seen it in documentaries, discussed it in social psychology class, witnessed it in my own and my friends’ lives, and learned about it in the books I’m reading. I think people often forget – or are never even told – about the power and effect that each individual person has on the world; however, society – this thing we often see ourselves as having no control over – is simply made up of people, their beliefs, and their individual actions, much like the ocean is made up of tiny drops of water.
In the documentary I Am, Desmond Tutu puts it this way: “[You may think] you can’t do anything about global poverty, but yes, you can! You can do something about this guy.” And that guy. And the woman over there. Small actions such as these can combine to manifest huge changes in the world, which brings me to my next point: the world is changing, and for the better. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it quite so plainly as I’m seeing it recently.
Towards the beginning of the summer, there were a good three months where I was experiencing pretty intense episodes – for lack of a better term – of depression over the seemingly overwhelming ‘thing’ that is society and the direction it so often seemed to be headed. I’ve realized, though, that there is a counter-movement. There’s now a steady stream of people that are walking the opposite way, away from the cliff that is society’s doom, and the numbers are growing every day. I know this. And I want you to know it, too, so I decided to share with you some examples I’ve seen of how the world is changing for the good of all of us (I realize all people might not agree with all of these, they are simply my opinion). (;
– I see higher degrees of socio-political awareness in everybody. Younger people are following world events; traditionally “conservative” people are opening up on issues like marriage equality, medical marijuana, and environmental destruction; “traditional” businesses are trying to appeal to people like you and me, and more and more people are in favor of peace over war, which prefaces the next point:
– The people of the world essentially halted what could have been a huge mess in Syria. President Obama was more than ready for a military strike, but between other countries and American citizens opposing the action, he decided that it “might not be a good idea.”
– Through my social media accounts, I’m seeing more and more of my friends “awakening” to idea that the world needs to change, and that we have to do it ourselves. They are using their own accounts to spread the message.
– We’ve witnessed the first ever legalization of cannabis/hemp in two American states, and half of the United States have legalized medical marijuana (and many are working to follow suit).
– Europe is taking large strides in terms of Energy and is doing so successfully – i.e. German Solar Power, Biking in Amsterdam, Affordable Travel via Eurail, Waste-to-Energy programs, etc.
– There’s an ever-growing amount of social and psychological research in: consciousness, empathy, violence and crime, groupthink, sociological interactions, etc.
– A rising number of people have a decent understanding of human environmental impacts, and there’s an increasing public will to change things (slowly, but surely.)
– And of course, there are many, many more which I cannot list for the sake of brevity (and this list is already quite long!).
I hope this helps you see, even a little, how things seriously are getting better. Whenever our society’s obstacles seem insurmountable, think about all the similar problems we have overcame as species in the past: slavery, apartheid, equal rights, monarchies and dictatorships, corruption… sure, some of these problems still linger, but we humans are certainly better off than we have been in years before. Not to mention, we now have the internet to enhance our efforts! I’m confident that we’ll continue on this track of progress if we do not give up hope on the many projects and policies we are collectively pursuing. (:
If you’re already doing your part, stick with it. Remember the Power of One.
If you’ve yet to come aboard, join us! Learn about the Power of One. (;
Much love going out to you all, ❤