Life Coach Magazine

How Can I Change The World? Or At Least My Country

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

Darwin - Very gradual change we can believe inSo, if I think both the OWS and the Tea Party movements suck, how exactly would I go about changing the world?  It’s an interesting questions because one of my goals in life is to leave this world in a better condition than I found it.  Whether or not I have kids, I want my impact on this world (and on my country) to be positive.  I don’t need to be the next Abraham Lincoln or Tim Bernars Lee, but I would like to have a net positive impact.  This is especially important to me these days when the world seems to be in a bit of trouble all around.  We have environmental issues, economic collapse, political instability, leaders who seem clueless and politicians who seem completely out of touch.  In the face of all this, it’s easy to feel powerless and just give up.  However, there are still plenty of ways in which one person can have an impact and I’m going to use this post to list a few.

Keep in mind that these methods are aligned with goals that I find worthwhile.  You may have other goals and, if so, will need to find other methods.  The key is to figure out your goal first.  Is it to reform government?  Is it to fix the environment?  Is it to eliminate debt and reduce the power of wall street?  This is the most important part of any project, deciding on goals and outcomes so spend the time you need to spend here and don’t just jump straight into action.  Think about what’s important to you and why it’s important.  The rest will then fall into place.

My Causes

Personally, I care about the following things:

  • The environment – I want the world to be a healthy place where my kids can run around without fear of pollutants.
  • The economy – I want an economy that’s more open to small businesses since I believe they’re more efficient and contribute more to our society.
  • Education – I believe that education is the corner stone of our nation.
  • Government – I think government needs to be reformed, reduced and rebuilt.
Boy, these are some big goals.  How the heck is one person going to have any impact here?  Well, let’s see…
  • Bike or walk where possible – This contributes to my goal of a cleaner environment (obviously) but it also contributes to my goals of reducing debt (less imports from other countries) and better government (less money for oil companies and car companies to lobby congress with.
  • Bring a garbage bag with me when I hike and collect garbage – This one contributes mostly to my environmental goal but also a bit towards my education goals.  Clean parks mean more people go there and learn about nature.
  • Try to shop from local, small businesses – Yes, it may cost slightly more but I think it’s worth it.  It helps me achieve my economic goals and again, it lowers the amount of money available for large companies to lobby government.
    • On a related note, all my banking is now moving to a local credit union.
  • I don’t take on debt for any depreciating assets, in fact, I try to stay away from debt altogether.  I think this makes for a healthier economy and less money for banks to spend on lobbyists.
  • I try not to waste money buying junk – That means I’m driving the same car I bought in 1999 and it means we don’t eat out every night.  This helps me in my economic goals by removing support for big business which in turn helps my political goals.
  • I volunteer at various educational causes – For example, RAFT.  This supports my educational goals.
  • I vote at every election and try to educate myself about the issues
    • I vote no on every single debt issue – We have too much debt already
    • I vote no on almost every single regulation and law – We have too many of them already
    • I vote no on almost every new tax – We have too many of them already
    • I vote no on almost every incumbent
    • I write letters to my congressman (woman actually) and explain in detail why I will vote against her
    • I vote for 3rd party candidates as a way of showing the two main parties how dissatisfied I am with them
    • For all three of these things, I will maintain my course even in the face of politics.  Remember, politicians are tricky bastards.  They will try to confuse you by saying things like “this new bond measure is for schools!” or “we need to support our troops!”  Guess what, there are better ways of supporting schools and troops.
  • I get involved in local politics.  I was on various boards in the City of Sunnyvale and I had registered for a run for city council but unfortunately had to cancel it when Julie and I decided to move in together in a different city.  I am now considering doing something similar here.

Do These Things Really Make A Difference?

If only one person did them then probably not, but there are 350 million of us in the US alone.  If even a small portion of those people started doing similar things then we would make a huge difference.  We could change the world, one person at a time.

Ultimately, I can only be responsible for my own actions.  Unless I use force, and I’ll talk about that in a sec, then I’m the only person I can control.  Therefore, I choose to control my actions in such a way as to be conducive to the change I wish to bring.  I also try to be an example to people with similar goals and I engage in open, honest and productive conversation around these goals.

Will this bring about immediate change?  Probably not, but at the very least it will bring about a small amount of change and that’s enough for now.  I’m a big believer in a lot of small changes slowly building up into a big change.  Call it “Gal’s Theory Of Evolutionary Change”


And one of the main reasons I like this idea is because the alternative to evolution is revolution…

Using Force To Influence Change

The opposite of small, measured change, revolution means big changes happening right NOW!  This is what happens when you try to change something by force.  It means uprisings and civil wars, blood shed and upheaval.  Personally, I’d rather stay away from events like that.  They’re usually incredibly destructive and the change they bring is sometimes not the change you wanted.

So I’ll stick to my lifestyle, thank you very much, and I would urge everyone to start thinking of small, meaningful ways in which you can live your life in accordance with your goals as opposed to big meaningless gestures which do nothing in particular.

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