Sunday, November 15, 2009

Think the problem is too big? Too overwhelming?

The following is excerpted from "Wanna Get Some Action?"--a collaborative pamphlet produced by several environmental groups including the Energy Action CoalitionEnergy Justice Network and

What kinda power we got?
Throughout history we can look to examples of how everyday people have used their community-based power to win a more just society in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  In fact, many of the rights and comforts we now take for granted resulted from people like us getting together and collectively taking action when injustice couldn’t be ignored anymore, like…

  • The 40 hour work week (and weekends!)
  • Voting rights for women, youth (over 18), African-Americans
  • The end of formal slavery
  • Maternity leave
  • Ending child labor / The right to go to school
  • Civil rights
  • The rights of people with disabilities to reasonable accommodation to hold jobs and access businesses....
These social movements faced massive opposition in their time - the power holders put everything they had into maintaining the status quo, and making it seem like there was no alternative. But they were wrong. People used the power of their numbers and, at strategic moments, took bold actions to demand changes, which were eventually put into law by policy makers.

You *can* make a difference.  But you can't wait for someone else to do it for you.  If you're upset, scared, concerned--you need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and do something.

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