If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in recent times, it’s the vast majority of people want to do the right thing, just so long as it doesn’t cost too much. Too much time. Too much effort. Too much inconvenience. Too much money. Or a combo of all of the above.
Most of us agree we should use less plastic bags. The evidence is overwhelming. It’s bad for the oceans and the environment we all love so much. But take them out of supermarkets and all hell breaks loose.
Most of us agree straws are bad and unnecessary. But get rid of them completely, and what about people with disabilities, or little kids, or people wearing lipstick? Heaven forbid!
Most of us agree people should be treated with kindness and respect. But if that means we must use different words to address them, then nopity nope nope, that’s ‘political correctness’ gone mad!
Most of us agree murdering animals is bad. But…bacon.
The list goes on. Turns out this change stuff can actually be quite inconvenient. If you want stuff to change, sometimes it means we have to change. Go figure.
And then there’s the question of who’s going to get all this change happening in the first place.
Most of us agree all sorts of things need to change, but who’s leading the change charge? Not most of us. Nope, way too uncomfortable to be out there alone and vulnerable taking a chance. Maybe that’s OK, just so long as we’re quick to support those who do.
Take this very magazine for example. When Amy and Kez started it, it was a massive risk. Most of us agreed the women’s adventure space could really use an awesome magazine like this one, but who would be crazy enough to put themselves out there, put their bums on the line, and make it happen? (Spoiler alert: they did!) And then what? Lots of pats on the back for sure. But it’s fair to say, after years of hard work, and now a recent change in ownership, Amy and Kez aren’t currently sitting back in southern France, rolling around on their beds among hundred-dollar bills. No, they led the crusade, created something beautiful, and now they are exhausted and have passed the baton on.
And that’s where you come in. Whether it’s this crusade, or any other, as the old saying goes, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’. Movements need movers. And shakers. If you don’t feel like leading change in whatever area you’re passionate about, be it the adventure space or otherwise, it’s equally important that you at least support those who do. Maybe it’s a kind word. Maybe it’s turning up to an event. Maybe it’s voting with your money.
I’m always amazed when I see people expecting change to come from somewhere else. In the form of business guidelines maybe, industry codes perhaps, or even more hilariously, government policy. What are governments and organisations but groups of people? And isn’t that what we are? People? Individuals at first.
But put enough of us together, and we’re a powerful force. The #MeToo movement didn’t start as a massive movement, it started with a single voice. Then another. And another. And on it went. Someone started it. But the real change came when so many others joined in. Even though, especially to start with, it was almost certainly uncomfortable and inconvenient. And possibly downright terrifying.
So if there was ever a call to arms for positive change in the world, whether that be with gender issues, environmental, or anything else for that matter, it’s this: if kick starting change yourself might seem a bit more than what you’re prepared to sign up for, at least do your best to jump in early with whatever level of support you can when someone else does something worthwhile.
When they yell ‘charge’ (or ‘change’), do your best to follow them as closely as possible. We can all be brave in different ways. We can all support in different ways. But we’re all important. Every voice, every kind word, every bought product, and likewise every product not bought, adds up. Because when enough of us get together, we can change all sorts of things. Even the world.