What is the most important change we need to make?

An incident on Occupy London comment stream, set me thinking,...A young man was having a rant, raving about the older generation being idiots, mainly because of the environmental and economic situation they are inheriting from us. He was warned - a few times then banned. When I thought about it he was going about his complaints the wrong way but he was young and we are the mature adults - but he did have a point and perhaps it might have been diffused if he was listened to and we had admitted yes our generation have been guilty of sleep walking into this mess, but we are trying to rectify it now, join us. I have three mature adult children and many grandchildren quite a few at university now, and I care about their future, Decades ago I decided with regard to global warming and chemical and agricultural pollution to do all I could to reduce my emissions and change my ways, I gave up my car, decided to forgo the luxury of foreign holidays, put in solar heating, recycled, upcycled, changed to eco products, grew nearly all my own veg fruit and herbs in synergy with nature and not against her, the soil food web works very well without expensive imports of peat and chemicals which all cause pollution while being transported or in the ground. I let the soil function as it was intended to, no one fertilises or sprays woodland around the country like my garden it is a self sustaining system., I garden now without any imports and get very good results, I no longer dig but allow the soil foodweb to function as intended. I can look my grandchildren in the eye today and say I personally did my best to avoid the present precarious ecological and economic situation the world is suffering. Before you say, I don't have time fot that, I am 71, and a full time carer of a highly dependent parent,  If I can do it you young ones can. What I am trying to say is the first change should be within ourselves, and that young man who was banned had a valid point our generation generally had been self indulgent and not considered future generations, it is so  easy to blame others, if we change ourselves first the rest will fall into place far easier, yes it's time for urgent change, but let's look to ourselves also..

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Comment by Mark E. Smith on December 20, 2011 at 7:28pm

Agreed, Gael. The most important change we need to make is the only change that we know for sure we can make, that is, changing ourselves. We don't know if we can change others or change the world--we can try but we can't know if we'll succeed. We do know that it is within our power to change ourselves. And if "we are the world," then changing ourselves changes the world, at least to some extent. Thank you for changing the world!

Comment by Mark E. Smith on December 20, 2011 at 8:06pm

Another important point you make is to listen to the message, rather than the tone or attitude of the messenger, how they're dressed, or what group they belong to. If the message is true and valuable, it shouldn't be dismissed because of who presents it or the way it is presented. We can't expect ordinary people, particularly angry people with valid reasons to be angry, to be accomplished speakers. We can expect that of politicians, but what they tell us are often lies. What would I expect a young person with years of pent-up anger at their elders to do when they finally get an opportunity to speak? I'd expect them to rant and rave, insult, and vent their anger. I'd expect them to say, "You did this, I'm paying for it, and I don't like you, don't trust you, and don't think you're even listening. Fuck you!" I hope it was only a temporary ban and that young man comes back. If he finds that people really are listening, he will know he doesn't have to curse and shout to get their attention. 

Comment by Gael Bage on December 21, 2011 at 6:34am

Smiling here, I think thats a pretty fair asssessment of how they might be feeling. I hope he comes back too, well that was our first call to people - get angry, come down and join occupy !

Comment by David Eggleton on December 21, 2011 at 8:38am

I believe the combination of Mark's contributions is mighty close to the answer.  Looking at and listening to those around us differently is both feasible and transforming.

We all need more working relationships; acceptance of each other is Step One.

Comment by Gael Bage on December 21, 2011 at 1:17pm

Hello David, yes it is transforming , most people are doing their best in their present situation, and it helps if we can see through any anger to what lies behind it and see our part in it.

Comment by David Eggleton on January 2, 2012 at 3:21pm

In a comment on another's blog post, I weighed in regarding the fundamental problem, which surely has something to do with the most important change required of us.

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