Thank You for Standing Up for Your Beliefs, Now Let Us Join the Ranks

One topic that keeps coming to mind, time and time again lately, is past change that has gotten us to this point and future change that will get us to a better tomorrow. While the only thing we can be certain of is that there will be change and that we’ll eventually die, it is the former that I want to focus on today.

We often don’t see all the changes in the moment when they are occurring, but it’s much easier to look back on the past to find the changes. First, I’d like to say thank you to the people and generations before us that have paved the way for my generation and future generations. I know each generation does a lot wrong in the eyes of history, but also, they’ve done a lot to correct it and grow in the future.

Even if we reached what a utopian world tomorrow, people in that time would still find things to improve and I love this. In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, we learn that even 1% better can drastically improve things over time, it’s the compounding improvements that drives the future. I love to think about the 7 billion people in the world all working to drive different causes and initiatives so simultaneously improvements are being made.

One thing to watch out for is that all those changes aren’t always for the better. 1% declines can compound, but failure is part of success so it might not be as easy to see. I digress.

There are several changes I’d like to see in the world:

  1. A more sustainable future. Plastic is one of the worst things that was created and while it does have a lot of benefits to the planet too in the case of like medical tools, we haven’t figured out how to handle disposal on a mass scale.
    • One of the biggest ways to fight this as an individual is to at a minimum reduce your single use plastics and products. Bring a bag to the store with you or just reject it. Bring a reusable bottle with you and refill it. Maybe the next step is to make it normalize bring a container for leftovers or takeout food or our own silverware, where plastic is used. Will this move the needle on sustainability? Probably not, but 1% improvements on a mass scale is a good place to start.
    • If you’re a business, look at your products and processes and see ways to improve. Are you getting reusable packaging from your suppliers and shipping to customers in reusable or reduced packaging. What is the lifecycle of the products that you make? Are there greener alternatives to those products? Even if there aren’t available options, can you innovate something to assist with this? Have you given your employees the ability to reduce their waste at work too?
    • Government policies, while some companies are on the forefront of these initiatives some will not change until the government gets involved. There are so many chemicals that the EU has said are bad for the environment and humans that the USA and other countries still use. We need the government to help regulate things that aren’t necessarily in the best financial interests of business but are for the greater good of our health safety and environment.

2. Women’s Rights. While women can vote and have some equal rights, we still do not have equal pay. With Roe v. Wade being overturned, we now have the women’s choices being violated. I do not want my body and my choice about what happens to my body to be a political agenda. I’d prefer to vote for good candidates not based on which candidate is going to take away my basic rights as a female. The #MeToo movement is not over, sexual violence is still a major issue.

I struggle on what to do for improving women’s rights. I know I need to speak up and have my voice heard. I need to vote for better elected officials, but I am not sure what else can be done with this topic so I’ll work on continuing to educate myself on this topic.

In daily life, I’ll speak up for myself and others when I see wrong-doing or discrimination, and not just about female issues.

While I know it’s fiction, watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu has been eye-opening to me on how going back on equal rights for minorities could go backwards and the horrors that would cause. It reminds me of the holocaust in some ways and how suppression of freedom of speech could wreak havoc on modern society.

3. Removal of lobbyists for campaigning for politicians and the length of time spent campaigning. I don’t care which political party you are part of having companies which can lobby for candidates is essentially a form of corruption. It’s like having a financial advisor who isn’t a fiduciary. The candidates no longer have the best interest of the country and people in mind, they have favors that they owe to wealthy donors. I also add length of time that can be spent campaigning because it can turn into a popularity contest with who has the most amount of money and presidential candidates announce they are running approximately 1.5 years before the election. While it’s good to be able to know who candidates are, 1.5 years of campaigning can knock out good candidates that don’t have as much money for campaigning due to the length of campaigns.

Whatever your beliefs are, standing up for the things that are priorities for you and your family are important. Taking action is important. There are certain fights that I believe leaving is the right way to go. If you’re in toxic relationships or environments, getting out of them is one way to help someone or something that can’t be helped. If everyone left a toxic work environment, then the company would have to change in order to continue their success and you wouldn’t be working to make money for the company’s continued success, I think of this almost in terms of a strike.

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