I was looking through one of my art journals the other day, thinking about all the memories associated with each piece, when I came across a little yellow sticky note. I read what was on it, wondering what it was doing in my journal. It ended up being a quote I had heard in a video from Great Big Story* and I thought it was really profoud. It was from a man in South Africa named Lufefe Nomjana, locally known as “The Spinach King” because he saved his community by incorporating spinach into products people use every day. This created jobs for local micro-farmers, and he was able to make affordable, nutrient dense food items for the poverty stricken economy, while keeping food on the table for the people growing the spinach. (It’s an awesome video, you should check it out at HERE)
“I don’t want to use the term ‘environmentally friendly’ because friendly people just smile, and wave. I want to use the term ‘environmentally conscious’. You take care. You participate. You hands on, you know. You part of the movement.”
I like how he words that. Environmentally conscious. Lufefe realized that the economy wasn’t going to fix itself. He realized that the space around him needed something, and if it was going to get done, it couldn’t be done by ‘everybody else’. It had to be done by him. It takes individuals to make change.
“I looked around in my community, and I saw that there was a dying need for a change. And that change relied on me at that particular time. Hence I started the business called Espinaca Innovations.”
The same is true for us. We have to see the problem with something. A lot of people mistake being optimistic with ignoring problems, and it prevents them from making change. The two aren’t synonymous. We have to see the kinks in the hose. If we don’t, then who is going to make things right? However. Instead of complaining about them the way we always do, we need to fix them.
“You take care. You’re part of the movement.” You have to be a part of the movement. To make something move, to make change, something has to exert energy on another object within its proximity. It will require work to change, and that’s why a lot of people don’t like to do it. Which is a perfect intro into my next quote.
“I believe the most atrocious crimes against humanity happen every day, and we allow them to, not because we agree with them, but because they’re our routine.”
This is probably my favorite quote of all time. Dennen in this case is talking about poverty, wars, and the horrible ways we often treat the people around us, but its relevance extends far past that. Dennen believes that many of the bad things that happen in our world happen because the average person isn’t willing to put in any energy to change things. They would rather just sit back and adapt, because that’s easier. He thinks that every injustice, from racism to an elementary school bully could be prevented or at least significantly reduced if the people who had the ability to change things did. I think he’s right.
It all sounds a lot like what Bob Goff says in his book, Love Does. In fact, he says it in the title. Love does. Love does. If we claim to love anything, we have to do something to make it better. Sometimes it will be difficult to put in the work, but we can’t wait for someone else to do the changing. We’ve got to take action.
Change comes in all shapes and sizes. Don’t think that to make an impactful change you have to end poverty, or save the Bengal Tiger, or revitalize your community. All those things are great, but there is so much more that you can do. Change problems within yourself, in your relationships with other people, or in anything you want. Just make the change, even if it’s a little one. Eventually your little changes add up and have a big impact.
At the end of the video, Lufefe says one last thing that we should all listen to.
“Lets create the world that we want to live in together.”
Leave us a comment below and tell us one way you are creating a world that you want to live in.
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