Stuck In Neutral
Somewhere back in the peculiar, awkward, and downright confusing period that was my youth, I came across an idea that unfortunately stuck with me for too long. Namely, that it would be the height of arrogance to sit down and begin to write or rather engage in debate in a meaningful way without first living life. How could one have any perspective without first endeavoring to experience as much of the world and life as possible? This caustic idea has floated around in my mind for decades. If asked, I would have probably blamed Thoreau’s statement of “how vain it is to sit down and write when you have not stood up to live.” Of course, being younger and never slowing down enough actually reflect on issues of context or such authors were telling me, I bundled a group of ideas, such as this, together and pushed forward, beginning to live life and aiming to gain more experience.
At thirty-six have I lived long enough to gain all the worldly perspective that I had hoped for - no, most certainly not. But, what I have I come to appreciate, though, is that we all continue to evolve, and therefore waiting for the perfect time to begin will critically inhibit the likelihood of progress being made. Furthermore, issues that were of concern may have worsened while you were sitting on the sidelines.
To not squander any more time, I have begun.
Climate change is happening, the oceans are filling with plastic, rainforests are being decimated, an increasing number of species are becoming critically threatened, our political leaders ignore science, and the list goes on. That may be too heady for some. How about this - most people still think they can recycle their cup from Starbucks. Sorry to burst the bubble, but your latte is going to end up in the rubbish. So how do we effectively combat these issues, how do we create meaningful and lasting change? We begin by not sitting on the sidelines, not waiting for the answers to come to us, not waiting until we have more perspective, and not waiting for someone else to show us the path. Engagement must be the first step, engagement at any age and on any level.
Recently we have seen an incredible example of the power of consistent engagement. Greta Thunberg demonstrated to the world the ability of an individual to help generate massive awareness. She identified a cause and a way that she could consistently engage. Over time her platform began to evolve, and her message began to reach a wider audience. Without waiting for more experience or time, she just simply began and in doing so, created an enormous movement. While Miss Thunberg’s story is remarkable and her efforts commendable, at their root, they began humbly and largely went unnoticed. Fast-forward and we now find that Miss. Thunberg has become a household name while also inspiring millions of individuals to take the streets and demonstrate their concern for the environment.
As Lochtree has begun to get underway, I have spent a significant amount of time reflecting on this concept of engagement. Is this the timing correct, is it absurd to build launch a website, how could this be done better, and so forth. What I have returned to though is the need to start somewhere and be open to evolution. The commitment at Lochtree is never to remain idle, but rather continue to innovate and evolve. Sitting down to write and throwing open the doors to discussion is merely the first step in that direction.