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

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
What's Next
Trending Today
North Dakota Gov Cuts Water Supply to Native Americans as DAPL Protest Swells in Number and Spirit
Lauren McCauley · 24,257 views today · Thousands join protest camp as supporters are holding a rally in Washington D.C. on Wednesday outside of Army Corps hearing
Brené Brown on How to Reckon with Emotion and Change Your Narrative
Brené Brown · 19,829 views today · The most powerful stories may be the ones we tell ourselves, says Brené Brown. But beware—they're usually fiction.
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 18,931 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 13,223 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 7,873 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
This Off Grid Handmade Island is One of the Most Amazing Homes in the World
3 min · 7,552 views today · Floating off the coast of Vancouver Island, a 45-minute boat ride to the nearest town, is a sustainable island fortress complete with a dance floor, art gallery and garden. For...
Mesmerising Video of Tiled Roof Hut Built Entirely from Materials Found in the Forest
14 min · 5,720 views today · I built this tiled roof hut in the bush using only primitive tools and materials. The tools I used have been made in my previous videos. It should be pointed out that I do not...
Donald Trump Supporters Given an Ideology Test. Spoiler Alert... They Fail
4 min · 5,647 views today · After Donald Trump proposes an ideology test for potential Muslim immigrants, Jordan Klepper quizzes the presidential hopeful's supporters. 
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 3,871 views today · A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor’s response is priceless. Scans of...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 3,662 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...
If You Want to Say Thank You, Don't Say Sorry - And 6 Other Examples of Beautiful Communication
Yao Xiao · 3,189 views today · Appreciate others for what they have done, don't apologise for simply existing.
How Stress Affects Your Brain
4 min · 3,158 views today · Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s...
30 Days of White Privilege
Jonah Smith-Bartlett · 3,083 views today · The straw that broke the camel’s back was a New York Times comment section. “There is no such thing as white privilege. It’s something the liberal media created. Black people...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,912 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Willie Nelson Has Some Advice for You: Don't Be An A**hole
2 min · 2,320 views today · Since childhood, Willie Nelson has been living by the golden rule. In this episode of "Hey Willie," the superstar talks about applying the golden rule to his everyday life and...
Healing a Suicide Attempt: Cartooning My Experience
Amani Omejer · 2,236 views today · In April 2012, I attempted suicide whilst living in San Francisco. It was - obviously - an incredibly intense time, but in many ways the time that followed the attempt was...
Understanding Patriarchy
bell hooks · 2,028 views today · Patriarchy is the single most life-threatening social disease assaulting the male body and spirit in our nation. Yet most men do not use the word “patriarchy” in everyday life...
To Thrive, We Must Be in Touch With Each Other
Sarah van Gelder · 1,801 views today · When we live connected to a community, we are more likely to become champions for one another, not just for ourselves.
15 Films Inspiring and Illuminating the 'New Story' Revolution
Tim Hjersted · 1,622 views today · Charles Eisenstein is one of the first people I heard talk about the "new story," synthesizing a diverse movement that has been emerging for the last several decades. When I go...
British Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Complicit in Yemen Humanitarian Crisis
10 min · 1,565 views today · Oxfam has hit out at the British government's position on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, as accusations continue that civilians have been deliberately targeted as Yemen's...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
To Change Everything, It's Going to Take Everything We've Got