“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” - Rumi
More importantly, though, was recognizing that, while we absolutely need macro-level change - in education, in energy, in environment, in jobs and income - this change does not start at the macro-level. It starts at the micro-level - with individuals, small groups. You. Me. It is at the macro-level that we can measure the success of the effort, but it is the individual action that the change really takes root. Taking two issues of the day as examples:
- Energy: As the Keystone Pipeline seems to be nearing approval the voices start to rise up against it, out of concern for the environment as well as the land rights of the Lakota. But just as I saw after the BP blowout in the Gulf a few years ago, the focus is on the high-level of national and international policy. To date, I have yet to see a call for less consumption to go along with this, and our consumption is just as complicit in the problem as is greed of the stockholders. I remember the days when we were encouraged to lower our thermostats, and to "drive 55" not for safety but for fuel efficiency. These days, the call for sacrifice in combination with better policy seems lacking.
- HIV/AIDS: Bank of America and U2 join forces during the Super Bowl evening to give $1 for every free download of U2's latest song (although, if you look at the fine-print, there was a $2 million - a drop in the bucket for BofA and certainly provides great publicity and revenue for both BofA and U2). The people downloading a free song were feeling good that they were making a difference - by getting something for free. All in the name of ending AIDS. Except for one thing. Not one message to encourage people to know their status, to act or think different. What a lost opportunity. It is rare that you would have such a wide audience and could really change the message or at least challenge the status quo - raise the conversation, make people think. Kudos to Coca Cola for doing just that with their ad.