Greta Thunberg has now been on a school strike for 47 weeks. What started as a personal response to the inability of the Swedish government to get in line with the Paris agreement before the Swedish general election, has grown into a worldwide movement for sustainable change.
What she has accomplished was more or less not possible just a few years ago. Because a few years ago, we did not have social media, meaning that in order to get your word out, you needed media, the press, to echo your vision. But now we have a way through social platforms to reach each-other, unfiltered by publishers and broadcasters.
Much has been written (though less than what we’d like) about Greta being the symbol of this change. She is a worldwide superstar, but at the same time, she’s just a Swede like many other Swedes. She sits on the cobblestone place outside of parliament by the stream with fellow strikers of all ages every Friday, and it’s not strange at all. When tourists see her, they are often amazed at how she can just be out there with the rest of us, despite her superstardom. I guess it is the Swedish way, to not make a big fuzz about it. I’m sure the frenzy would be quite different in other countries. The one thing that makes her quite un-Swedish, is her direct approach, even blunt at times when she directs her words towards world leaders, in front of world leaders. Swedes do not like to argue, but Greta is stiring.
She is doing something meaningful, which is my take-away from the past year. Why just live your life, go on your holidays, raise your kids and follow the stream without the need to make a change in the world, big or small? What is the point of not contributing to our society and knowing at the end of your life, that you were just here? I do not want to feel like that when my time comes if I have the chance to contemplate my life. I want to affect others in a positive way, to make their lives better, and to leave something behind which isn’t just my work and legacy, but something that is simply in the best interest for future generations.
We can’t all be Greta Thunberg, but without the joint effort of thousands and millions, nothing will be done. The strikes around the world will only have an impact if they are shared, joined and put into action by those that have the power to change the current course. If the house is on fire, you don’t sit down and discuss it, you get the hell out. That is what we need to be feeling now. And we need to start feeling it together. Because only then will it make a difference.
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