“I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel everyday and then I want you to act.”
Greta Thunberg was a fifteen year old skipping class and sitting on cobblestone outside the Swedish parliament with a hand painted sign and a dream. A pigtailed, Swedish schoolgirl; what could she have to say? But when Greta spoke, the world listened “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (schools for climate change), her slogan, has now spread to 71 countries. She has spoken at the UN, schooled the EU, rallied the Pope and been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Many laud her candidness. But Greta sticks by her principles- there is no time left for niceties. Our planet has been mistreated by the rich and the old: climate change? They won’t live long enough to experience it. But we will. And Greta sees that, lashing out against those admonishing the student strikers, “If you say we are wasting valuable lesson time, then let me remind you that our political leaders have wasted decades through denial and inaction.” Greta is more than a hero for us. She is one of us. It always starts small: a thought, a word, a feeling. Its impact may not manifest itself in form of shiny medal or international recognition. We may not all be Greta Thunbergs but we can carry out her vision. So switch that light off, turn that tap off and keep your chin up.