Who is Greta Thunberg and what can you learn from her?
[AP Photos/Mstyslav Chernov]
Have you ever heard about Fridays for Future? Maybe not, maybe you have. Do you know the story of where it comes from?
The beginning: 20th of August 2018
Imagine to be a teenager, born and living in Stockholm (Sweden). And suddenly for the first time ever in your life, you see a lot of wildfires and heatwaves in your country, where it is not supposed to happen, what would you do? Probably most of us would just make a lot of complaints, read something online about it and then keep going with our life… well not Greta!
She, at that moment just fifteen, decided to stop to attend to school until the Swedish general election, which was going to happen in 20 days. She started a protest in front of the Swedish parliament house (Riksdag) every day during school hours with a sign saying “School strike for the climate” (Skolstrejk för klimatet).
After that, Greta decided to continue striking every Friday. Since the beginning, she posts everything on Instagram and Twitter and is handing out leaflets that declare: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”
The strike began to attract public attention, in particular from a freelancer photographer and Swedish climate-focused social media company. From that moment, like magic, her movement and her messages arrived all over the world.
Fridays for Future became the biggest student climate movement in history and Greta started it, giving different speeches all over the world including at the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress on climate change.
Last week the Global climate strikes (20-27 September) were organised, in which 7,6 million people joined all over the world. It is already one of the largest coordinated global protests in history.
Just in one year, a small “no one” girl started a movement that reached millions of people all over the world.
Whatever will happen in the future, if she will keep this passion in her protest and if she will survive the millions of haters that are growing as fast as her popularity, there is a huge lesson that all of us can learn from her:
Everyone can make a change. It doesn’t really matter how small, poor or young you are. If you are passionate and constant, you can make the difference.
She is definitely someone that inspired me, because if a 16 year old girl can do all of this, why I can not at least try to change the behaviour of people? So no excuse, I will try and no matter the response, I will not give up!
Where is the problem?
We have to be honest, her lesson has a big huge problem: It is scary. How many times have you thought, “What can I do about it?”. A bad local administration, a violation of your rights at work, a corrupted officer.. She teaches all of us, there is always something we can do, the problem is that most of the times that “something” is not easy and it has big consequences. So it is just easier to avoid the existence of that “something” and deal with the problem in another way.
Unfortunately for us, we arrived at the point we can not ignore our environmental emergency any more so we need a change, regardless of how much it is going to cost.
We know that not everyone can be an extremist or an activist, but is it that hard to make a small change to your habits?
We hope not, and we will try to make it as easy as we can for you :).
-Believe in yourself! Everyone matters, from the 3 years old child to the 80 years old grandfather! No matter what your background, skin colour, religion, or education.
-Join people with similar believes! It is so much easier to make a statement if you don’t stand alone and especially if you can learn from other people’s experience.
Messages from Greta
“I have my books here, but also I am thinking: what am I missing? What am I going to learn in school? Facts don’t matter any more, politicians aren’t listening to the scientists, so why should I learn?” – The Guardian– Outside the Swedish parliament-September 2018
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!” 2019 UN Climate Action Summit-23 September 2019;
“You must not gamble your children’s future on the flip of a coin. Instead, you must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option.” U.S. Congress on Climate Change-18 September 2019
“We need to accept that the market and new technologies will not solve everything for us. We need to admit our common failure. And then we need to act, while there’s still time.” Brilliant mind conference-Stockholm 18 June 2019.
“And it’s OK if you refuse to listen to me. I am, after all, just a 16-year-old schoolgirl girl from Sweden. But you cannot ignore the scientists or the science or the millions of school-striking children striking for the right to a future. I beg you, please do not fail on this.” EU Parliaments- April 2019.
See below her speech at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit-23 September 2019-New york:
Do you agree with Greta or not? Let us know in the comments section and share it with your friends!
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