Did I get your attention?
Today I would like to discuss accountability. Who is to blame for the mess that we are in?
Well the answers I received at a recent seminar astounded me.
- The guy driving the new F150 blamed big oil.
- The one with the slave labour designer clothes blamed the big fashion houses.
- The one with the backyard hot tub that needs to drained and refilled every month complained about how we are not protecting our waterways.
- The one whose dog has viciously attacked and bloodied three complained about others’ human rights track record.
As I looked about the room, I saw discomfort in the faces of many. So I took a stand.
Actually the question has only one answer. “I am.”
We each are responsible for the mess we are in. Until consumers stand up and realize that it is our collective choices that have created this then and only then can we make a difference.
So I asked a second question. “What one thing can you do today to fix a little bit of the mess?”
It took a while for people to warm up to this. I realize that it is because for many of us, when we see a big problem, we can not chunk it into a workable plan. I get that. The problem seems so overwhelming that we feel that we can not make a difference so we don’t do anything at all. Or we consume. The tragedy is that as we continue to consume the wrong products, many of us are contributing to making the problem even bigger.
There are those among us who have the gift of being able to chunk massive problems into workable plans. They can create order out of chaos. We need those people to speak up and we need them to speak up now.
One person who does speak up and leads is Stuart Hickox. Stuart is the founder of One Change. One Change works with communities to communicate and act with a one simple step. The first program was the light…the light bulb that is. One Change taught that:
“If every household in the United States replaced one incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb, the reduction in pollution from energy production would be the equivalent of taking 800,000 cars off the road.”
The key is that we need to change. We need to understand how we can adopt healthier habits for ourselves and our planet. And we need to do it within our own lifestyles so that we can model these simple personal changes to others who can then change as well.
This video of how Stuart came up with the idea for One Change is inspirational.
Stuart is one example of someone who had an idea and had the courage to act on it. How many ideas have you had? How many ideas have you acted on?
This isn’t the blame game. This should be a story of inspiration. We have so many answers, tools and resources available to us to mitigate our international water crisis, our international climate change crisis and our crisis with human rights. But we need to start with ourselves, our homes, our families and our own choices.
And when we do those One Changes will add up and we too will have created order out of chaos.
So what is your idea?