Somewhere between 1960 and 2014 it became trendy to be socially conscious.
Today we have thousands of topics we can and should care about. The confinement of killer whales, climate change, Ukraine, the abducted Nigerian girls, racism, the rights of LGBT — is just a start.
It can become overwhelming to even be knowledgeable on all these topics — let alone to have your convictions on these topics affect your life.
When it comes to living more sustainable lives and caring about our environment, conviction is losing to convenience.
Not near enough has changed for us to think otherwise.
For example, how about your new favorite coffee maker — the Keurig. That clever little device can make a coffee in two minutes — forget about the pile of little plastic K-cups that will end up in the landfill — you need your cup of coffee and you need it now.
Isn’t that the way it is with most of the good intentions we have? Most of us agree that we are destroying our planet by driving our one-ton trucks to the lake each weekend, but we can’t haul our trailers to the lake without it.
The problem isn’t only institutional and it’s not all the oil and gas industries fault. Most of us care more about having a spacious mini-van to take our kids to soccer practice than we do about our great-great grandchildren.
If we did care we’d either haul our kids in a horse and buggy to the legislative buildings to protest— or we’d figure out a way to live off the grid. We’d make serious changes.
Instead we see something we don’t like and we post an inspiring article about it on Facebook. Then we yawn, throw in a microwave dinner and feel good about ourselves for a few minutes.
The truth is, the sacrifice it takes to make a radically different world, or to save the world for that matter is too difficult for the majority of us. We are too busy and too comfortable.
Whether or not we are motivated enough to make the difficult sacrifices needed to tackle the many challenges we face is the question. It’s not like we aren’t able to change things. We have the intelligence, talent and passion to make a better world — but what we lack is unity.
Very little changes when one person is yelling on a street corner, but when the masses stand-up for change, dictators are toppled and peace returns. If you have turned on the news at anytime in the past decade you will see what happens when people unite because of their desperation for change.
It comes down to our united desire. There are more than 7 billion of us. The world can change.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.