There Are No "Others"
Being in Svalbard has its interesting realities.
Like, say, the wifi crapping out and staying out in both the student houses and the university over a long, public holiday weekend. Let’s just say the computer labs have been unusually crowded over the last few days, as they have good old fashioned ethernet connection.
But that is not what I am going to focus on for this post.
On the contrary, it is something that has been on my mind for the past couple of weeks, namely the fact that no one is going to fix everything for you.
But more than that, the realisation that when we brush aside an issue, big or small, with “someone else is going to deal with it”, we need to realise that those “someone else” might not even exist. The only way something will get done for sure, is by us taking the time to sit down and do it ourselves.
This goes for blogging, this goes for environmental issues, it goes for financial literacy, politics, work – it goes for just about anything!
It’s All Right To Be Wrong
One of the things that stumped me when it comes to trying to make a change, is the fear that I will be “wrong”. Like, say, I know that maybe I should get engaged with politics, because that is one of the ways you encourage change. But with the many different parties in Norway, I am stuck with two potential candidates that both speak to things I care deeply about.
This decision fatigue has led me to join neither for years! Meaning that I am doing just as much good as someone who does not care about politics, which is not the effect I was after.
The other thing is, even if you are wrong, or do something wrong, at least you are trying. I have been working on this ever since before I posted my Don’t wait until the 1st to start that thing post.
I think perhaps one of the most compelling examples of this is the Dutch mini-celebrity (at least in environmental circles), Boyan Slat, who saw just how much plastic there was in the sea while on holiday, and decided to found the company The Ocean Cleanup, who, through crowdfunding and outreach, is managing to do just that!
All because he did not rely on “other people”, and certainly not “adults” to fix this problem for him.
How Can We Help?
For me, it can be quite intimidating to put my voice out there. But the older I get, the more I realise that I have to if I want my voice and story to be heard. There might be similar stories out there, and similar battles, but no one else has my exact voice.
For me, it starts with apprehensively trying to decide on a couple of cases I really want to support, and then joining them! If I realise a few months in that they don’t really fulfill what I was looking for, it’s ok to change! We don’t have to get it right the first time! Which, I’ll be honest, has been a terrible relief for my fear of failure.
We can write letters to politicians, we can volunteer for soup kitchens, pick trash with friends, or any other range of worthwhile activities, just waiting to be taken care of.
And if we manage to do this, I do think that a transition between working life and financial independence is going to be a whole lot easier – because we will have cases that light a fire in our bellies. And even if we leave our job, our coworkers and our daily routine, we are not going to lose that!
I am sorry this post is a bit short, thrown together, as it was, in the computer lab in between sessions. I just feel so passionately about this that I really wanted to write a post about it, and hope you feel similarly.
Have you done this for years already, and largely feel like commenting “welcome to the party”? Or are you more a timid fence-sitter like myself, who find it difficult to make decisions when either option seem equally good?