After watching Fed Up last Monday evening at Cinema 10 in Potsdam, an event co-sponsored by GardenShare and Local Living Venture, I have come to the not so startling conclusion that if we want to see change, we as citizens are going to have to affect that change ourselves. So in two words, I am Fed Up, which is exactly what the producers of the movie originally intended, hence their title.
The movie, very briefly, is about the food industry and its ability to buy the legislation on the national level they need to keep producing and promoting the sub-par food products found in our grocery stores today.
This particular post, however, is not about the food industry per say. It is about the Grass Roots movement around sustainability, social justice, and equal rights that took off in the 60s and 70s, died out in the 80s and 90s, but is back with a vengeance today, hopefully to grow even more. Yes, those hippies with their flower power, living off the land and making love not war, as well as the civil rights, non-violence movement led by MLK and other visionaries had it right. Create and move the ideas and policies from the bottom up. Forget this trickle down nonsense (money or ideas); it doesn't work.
So how do we get enough people to first realize there are serious problems, secondly decide they want to learn more about the problem, and thirdly decide to act instead of merely observe?
I firmly believe that education will play a huge role in turning this around. In a recent post, I wrote that people who are involved in their own education (self-directed/independent learners) are not only able to find information, they are also able to disseminate “good” from “bad” answers to their questions. When we teach kids (and adults) how to learn, they will be more willing to look at and analyze everything with objectivity instead of a sense of inevitability. They will take issue with the status quo, because they will have the tools to change what they see needs to be changed!
This is happening all around us. In a recent decision in Colorado the Jefferson County (area surrounding Denver) School Board announced that they are proposing using a different history curriculum that reflects positively on history. In other words, they are white-washing historical fact, because real history is too depressing. Based on what they have learned about civil rights, the students in these schools decided to fight back and walked out in protest. Their act of civil disobedience was reported in the Huffington Post as well as other media outlets.
This is just one example. There are people taking action all over the world, and I am confident that actions for change will continue to grow from the local level. It is those people who are challenging the world as we know it who will be become the movers and shakers of the future. Government will not change until the change has already occurred at the ground level.
When will YOU decide enough is enough, step up to the plate, and take action? Are you Fed Up yet? What will it take to get you there? We can change the world through positive action. Will you join me and say “yes” to peaceful protest, “yes” to standing up to be counted, and “yes” to influencing our own history and making sure our children and grandchildren know that we made a difference?
Let's revise and rewrite the way our world works from the local, grass roots level and make future generations and all those old hippies proud. We can do this together!