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Thoughts on Lasting Change.

March 4, 2010

One thing struck me in my search for green grants in the past months was there is a lot more money available for green education then there is for green action. This made me stop and think for a moment and ponder on the values we are teaching our children and youth. We can teach our kids about the issues but when it comes to doing something about it the story changes.

Perhaps it is a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’, but any decent psychologist will tell you the best way to get a anyone to act in a certain way is to model the behavior you wish to see. Therefore, if anyone expects to see the change they want in the world they must be the change they want in the world. Yet making those personal changes and breaking habits built up over a lifetime seem to be the hardest to make.

I remember having a conversation with an older friend a couple years ago about whether or not Feminism was making any advances in light of all the activism that had taken place in the sixties and seventies. She said that from her point of view, things hadn’t changed at all from when she was a youth. The men she knew were just as chauvinistic as they had always been. Around that time, some young women, friends of her teen son, entered the conversation. They felt bad for young men because they were on the back seat in everything going on in their high school. Whether it was on the student council or making the honour roll, girls were dominating in all almost all areas.

It struck me then that the real changes that came out of feminism didn’t take place in the lives of those that fought so hard for the issues of their day. The real change was manifested in the lives of their children. They were still fighting the same battle, while simultaneously the next generation of young men and women was experiencing an almost complete reversal of fortune.

Some may point to this kind of change and say our generation doesn’t have to worry about making changes in our lives. In effect we don’t have to worry because our children have to take care of the problem. Yet in the end I don’t think this line of reasoning hold up. No one is going to value something, our children included; we only pay lip service too. Therefore, if anyone expects to see the change they want in the world they must be the change they want in the world.

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