This week the world is focused on Glasgow. For the 13 days of COP26, we hold onto hope with every cell of our being. We hope that the world’s leaders reach the bold agreements needed to set a pathway to reduce the impacts of the biodiversity and climate crises.
This is a very important time.
For those of us not attending or directly involved in COP26, we may feel like spectators. That this is the time for leaders, for people who command large audiences. For the activists and experts in Glasgow supporting the process. From our own homes and workplaces we can feel very insignificant.
To me, it’s exciting to see so many people determined to get action. The courage and tenacity of individuals and groups working toward this opportunity. But there’s also an unsettled feeling. More scary headlines (because we haven’t had enough of those recently). Uncertainty about whether our leaders will step up and make brave decisions. And some fear about what the future may hold.
But I know one thing for certain. Whatever the outcome of COP26, business as usual is not an option. Individuals and businesses all have a role to play in reducing the damage we are currently doing to the planet, and contributing to a healthier society and ecosystem.
So, if you’re feeling unsettled and uncertain, I invite you to find a few moments to pause. To think beyond the 12th November 2021. To envisage the world you would like to see 15 years from now. Really explore what you would want that world to look like.
What issues are close to your heart today – how would they be fixed or improved?
How would people value each other and the planet?
How would workplaces, education, health care have changed to build the society and communities you want to live in?
As you think of that place from today, ask yourself how you can contribute to building that future world? What are the unique opportunities you have to begin to move the world you live in towards that better future? How can you use your skills to support the shift to that way of living?
Focusing on what you can do will give you momentum. It encourages you to see what’s possible and to move towards it.
I have to confess that a similar thought experiment a few years ago contributed to me changing my job and starting my own business.
It’s very easy to think that other people are more significant than us. To discount the potential we each hold. To see someone else as having more impact. Or just to question how one voice can make a difference.
But there will be many others who would like to live in the world you are imagining – perhaps fairer, healthier, kinder, happier… And there are many others working towards that future.
As you see coverage of COP26, and perhaps engage in related conversations or events, boldly hold onto your vision for a better future and how you can be part of making that a reality.
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