Changing the world is not going to happen without some struggles.
Because many people don’t want something to change and they usually don’t want to change themselves to solve certain problems.
They love the status quo, because it suits them. They take advantage of the current state of affairs. Change is scary too, because they don’t know what they’ll get in return. So, there may be lots of resistance to change, even if that change solves problems.
What is worse than resistance is looking the other way: ignoring problems and giving excuses not to help to change the world.
It takes too much energy
If you work on change, then the resistance, the negativity and the fight will indeed cost energy. Because of that, some people choose to look the other way and say: “I must think of myself, I’m not going to deal with these issues.” I believe in sustainability of self, and think you shouldn’t deny yourself too much and go under when you try to change things. If you can’t sustain your self, you can’t help others. But, helping others is also helping yourself.
Moreover, people often still have quite enough energy, but they’re unable to deal with resistance and friction. They only want the positive energy and deny the negative reality of problems.
It takes too much time; I have other priorities
Creating change takes time, yes. Time that you can spend otherwise. On friends and family, personal development, relaxing. Things that are also important. But issues like the environment, inequality and health, are also issues that you, your family and friends can get affected by.
I’m already doing so much
You can’t save the world all at once on your own, true. You have to set priorities; you have to make choices in what you are going to contribute to, also called “picking your battles”. Yet I see over and over again that the same battles are chosen. The battles that are cuddly, non-confrontational, not too difficult or complicated, and the battles you can empathize or identify with. The result is that the problems that are not cuddly, confrontational, difficult or complicated, and the battles that the majority don’t identify with, are not getting enough attention. Certain battles are completely ignored.
It’s of no use
Sometimes addressing certain problems seem to be of no use. The problems are too big, many factors are involved, or powerful stakeholders are extremely resistant. You keep working on solving the problems but nothing seems to change at all. Realize that you don’t always see change. It’s sometimes a slow process, that unfolds in small steps. Sometimes working on change seems useless, but it isn’t useless.
When you hear or use these excuses, realize the following:
It is a huge privilege to look the other way.
There are many people who are not even able to look the other way and pretend the problem doesn’t exist, because the issue is literally in their life and body. Not because they have chosen it, but because they are literally the subject of the problems. Think of people who have a certain ethnicity, skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. People who don’t fit the norm, can’t change their being, because they are that being. They can’t just turn off the problems they face and pretend it doesn’t exist. They are confronted with it every day.
When look the other way you feed off others who do work on the problems.
If you do nothing, and decide to ignore certain problems, there are always people who (thankfully) do take action. But realize that their struggle for change is in your favor. I often hear an individualistic sound: “everybody acts for himself, it is about my happiness.” But the world isn’t that simple. We don’t live separate from each other. We have an effect on each other, whether we like it or not. If someone is acting in a certain way, that has an effect on others. If someone is fighting for women’s rights, learning first aid, or picking up litter, then others are profiting from that those actions. People who deliberately choose to look the other way, are feeding off the energy of others who do act. They get the benefits, but it doesn’t cost them any energy or effort.
Of course you don’t have to fight until you drop dead, although there are different views on this; think of revolutions and movements. Too often I see people giving up very quickly. With all the mentioned excuses. My first thought is: You’re just not strong enough to deal with certain issues. So become stronger and stop using those lame excuses.