To Change Everything, It's Going to Take Everything We've Got
To Change Everything, It's Going to Take Everything We've Got
By John Foran / commondreams.org
Jan 2, 2016

OK, here’s the idea. We’re in a crisis so deep, so knotted, so unprecedented, and so urgent that, well, we have to change everything, pretty much. Or else.

And there’s no one to do it for us. There’s just us. Just-us. Justice.

And who are we? We are everyone, everywhere, who wants to do this. Everyone, everywhere, who cares what happens to everything—each other, humanity, Mother Earth, nature, the planet, the future creatures for whom what we do this day—this year—will make a difference. Possibly all the difference.

And what do we have to do? To repeat: we have to change most of the systems in which we live, whether we are in comfort or not, whether we have other preoccupations or not, whether we are happy or not, whether we have enough time, money, resources, or not. And we have to be radical.

And why do we have to do this? Let each of us answer for ourself. Because in the end, we will have to answer for ourselves. For what we did this coming year, and what we didn’t.

OK, enough of the solemn words and grandiose tone. What am I really trying to talk about here?

Let’s start with the situation: our operating system here on Earth has gone critical—as in far too many greenhouse gases, poisoned waters, dying oceans, melting ice, heat waves, drought, floods, cyclones, air pollution, land degradation, and on down the long lonely line of the civilizational highlights of the twenty-first century.

This is on top of the poverty, the hunger, the forced migration, the joblessness, the hopelessness, the general lesslessness.

And it’s all inter-connected, isn’t it? Ice melts, exposing more land and open water to the sun, increasing the temperature so more ice melts. The global economy takes your job, then the bank takes your house, the health industry takes back your insurance, and the economy takes someone else’s job who depended on you doing what you used to do. The superpower bombs your village, takes away your family, and puts you on the road to another place, or into armed opposition to that superpower, which bombs another village in another country.

Meanwhile there are very very few real leaders in positions of power, whether running nations or cities, corporations or businesses, schools or universities, media or culture. This was apparent at the recent COP 21 climate summit that gave us the Paris Agreement—where the would-be heroes turned out to be made of paper.

So, it’s up to us. And to change everything, we’ll have to have everyone we can, doing what they think best, giving everything they have.

And when we give everything, what happens? Something changes, somewhere. Someone notices. Someone takes hope that change can happen. Someone else gives everything. Someone notices…

We feel better. Stronger. More alive. More in love.

So we have something more to give.

Will it be enough?

No one can say. Who knows which future we’ll have? Who knows our own power? Who can measure our imagination? Who can imagine our creativity?

Have you ever felt it? What it feels like to be alive? To be part of something big? To be with others who have the same dreams?

Now is the time. This is year one. Today we start. Just us.

To be continued …

© 2015 This Changes Everything

Ecosocialist John Foran is a professor of Sociology at the University of California Santa Barbara. He is a member of System Change Not Climate Change and of the Climate Justice Project at the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory.

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 17,983 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 2,258 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 2,167 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,927 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min · 437 views today · In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel interview the "desert goddess," Katie Lee. When the Glen Canyon Dam was...
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 414 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 408 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 375 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
Baraka (1992)
97 min · 323 views today · Featuring no conventional narrative, this film presents footage of people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness, the movie takes...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 307 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 292 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 279 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Introversion Is Not a Personality Fail
Cat Elz · 255 views today · A few years ago, I got into an argument with my now mother-in-law over my supposedly “backwards” ways. My transgression? I did not attend a party of my now husband’s (then...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 243 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Defiance in the Face of Oppression - Iranian Artist Atena Farghadani Defends the Right to Draw
Gavin Aung Than · 233 views today · Atena Farghadani is a 28-year-old Iranian artist. She was recently sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison for drawing a cartoon.  
HUMAN (2015)
382 min · 231 views today · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?  Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
Here's How We're Going to End Factory Farming
2 min · 215 views today · Factory farming is a huge problem. But the solution is simple, if you'll join us. Watch this short 2 minute video to see how... Help make a kinder world possible...
The Political Elite: Idiots... or Criminals?
Michael Emero · 186 views today · I've been seeing a lot of people convinced that the DNC and all establishment Democrats are total idiots. How could they not be, when they sabotaged an easy win (Bernie) to...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 178 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
What Is a Gift Economy? - Alex Gendler
4 min · 177 views today · What if, this holiday season, instead of saying "thank you" to your aunt for her gift of a knitted sweater, the polite response expected from you was to show up at her house in...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
To Change Everything, It's Going to Take Everything We've Got