We are in a crisis of global proportions. No one denies this. We are at a turning point in history. Many people believe this. We can do something about this crisis moment to turn the world in a positive direction. Only a few people are doing something. So, what is the difference with this final group?
It has always amazed me that difficult times draw out diverse and often violently opposite reactions. There are those who look for fault, and wonder who is to blame. Others hide their heads in the sand and wait for the mess to pass. Some people anoint others to fix the problem and then wait for their heros to act. Then there are those who, without waiting for the government, church, corporation to either give them permission, or assistance, set out to fix the problem.
Ode Magazine, in the January/February 2009 Issue highlights 25 "intelligent optimists" who are doing something about changing the world. Their stories are powerful insights into individuals who don't just buck the system, they completely ignore it (or its obstacles) in order to bring new, creative, positive ideas to fruition. These aren't radicals, but dedicated men and women who did not wait for someone else to solve world problems, they tackled them on their own.
Looking at myself I wonder if I have the characteristics these people embody. Most times, even when I think of a positive idea, it languishes until something distracts me and I focus elsewhere. Or I bemoan the possibility of doing something new while simultaneously someone else is already doing it.
What can we learn from these people? Hey, I'm learning that if I want to change the world, I just have to go out and do something. Talking never accomplished anything by itself. Secondly, I'm learning to set my sights high. The dramatic changes listed in Ode are amazing and I'm sure everyone told these people they were going to be disappointed. Finally, most of them had help. Guess I'm learning that I can't do it alone. So, what do you want to do?