Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Keep On Talking to Change the World

On his 90th birthday, American philosopher, John Dewey said: “Democracy is born in conversation.” Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone, said that the culture in which people talk to each other over the back fence is the culture in which people vote. Sociologist Etzioni said that social change is accomplished through a national conversation, where everyone is talking about something and a groundswell for change emerges.

Our goal, then, is to keep talking about climate change, declining happiness, long work hours, and all the other problems facing us. Try introducing these topics into the casual conversations you have throughout the day with people you talk to while you’re standing in a line or in some business interaction. I had a wonderful conversation the other day with a taxi driver about the environment. I mentioned global warming and then he talked about the honey bees dying off and I told him I’d read it wasn’t happening to the organic bees, but mainly the bees maintained by corporate agriculture where they pump them with antibiotics to make them grow larger, and nature’s way is thrown off.

It sure makes your day more interesting!

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