(Image reproduced with permission from Kelsey V Photography)
Hope. It somehow seems unrealistic, ignorant, and perhaps even unnervingly optimistic, to “hope”, these days.
Despair is far more rational, in a world that’s rife with suffering. Poverty, animal exploitation, environmental degradation – not to mention, our own prejudices within our own species, against those with a different religion, ethnicity, gender, status, or sexual orientation.
I sometimes feel despair.
I know I’m not alone.
Sometimes, it all seems too hard. The helplessness and hopelessness can be overwhelming. It seems as though the world will never change and that our efforts are futile.
It leads to anger, depression, despair, fear, and anxiety.
Today, at a demonstration exposing the reality behind the egg industry, I met a few women who were experiencing their own internal crisis.
Their faces showed both curiosity and disdain.
“What good can one person do?” they asked. “Big companies will never change”.
And while I agree that money drives industry, it’s actually the people who hold the power.
The problem is, we don’t always remember this.
All industry is driven by demand. If the people demand something different, then industry is forced to adapt – or perish.
The collective voice of the people is driven by billions of individual voices. And one voice, can start a revolution. Just look at Rosa Parks.
The two ladies remained dubious. “There’s too much to be done, too many things wrong with the world”.
And I agreed. The problems of the world seem like a runaway freight train – moving with such speed and ferocity that change can only be an impossibility.
But then I pointed towards my young son and husband, standing in the distance. “See that boy? He’s my son.”
As their eyes turned towards my family, their expressions softened.
“I do it for them, because I want a better world for him. And all kids. And all of us.”
Their eyes brightened. They nodded, and looked at the leaflets in my hand with renewed interest.
Because it only takes one of us to change, to start revolution.
When one person changes one habit, it creates a ripple effect in his or her community. Others see that change is possible, and they get inspired to do the same.
It all starts with how we choose to live our lives – right now. Being a part of the solution, instead of contributing to the problem.
And while we might not solve the world’s problems in one day – or, even in one lifetime – we can certainly start a ripple. Or perhaps, even a revolution.