Listen. I know you’re busy. But it’s time to stop, look up from your endless pile of work, and make a change. What we are doing right now is self-destructive. Most of us were taught to keep our heads down, mind our own business, work hard, and be responsible. But in doing that, we are supporting a structure that is severely broken. So, we might as well stop. If our efforts are contributing to a system that is harmful—violent, unsustainable, and unjust—we have no choice but to unplug from it. Let’s find new ways to support ourselves and support each other. The status quo just won’t do. Not anymore.
This week, an alliance of 15,000 scientists from around the world issued a dire warning. In a letter to humanity, they wrote, “Soon, it will be too late to shift course from our failing trajectory, and time is running out.” These scientists cited climate change, deforestation, mass species extinction, ocean “dead zones,” and lack of access to fresh water as problems that are likely to bring down human civilization. Add to those problems: war, economic and social injustice, the potential for nuclear annihilation, and the prevalence of tyranny and oppression. Like it or not, we are complicit in this state of affairs. As long as we just keep doing what we have been doing up to now, we are contributing to the demise not just of our own species but of millions of others.
So, where do we go from here? I offer this three-step plan:
We can do this. We must do this. We owe it to those who came before us, and to those who may never have a chance to follow us because of our carelessness and inaction. Now is the time to ask ourselves: What will be my legacy? Unless we change course immediately—both individually and collectively—the answer will probably be: Nothing. After all, who will be left to inherit the Earth?
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