Do Something Do: Impactful actions, chosen wisely, to create meaningful change

We are facing many problems in the world, like climate change, peak oil, financial collapse, resource wars over access to fossil fuels, and environmental catastrophes like the collapse of sea life in the ocean.  Any of these are seriously difficult problems, and they’re hitting us all at the same time.  Humanity could crumple and whimper at the overload of too many problems, or humanity could ignore the problems and go about business as usual.  While some are taking either, or both, of those directions many feel called or compelled to take action to address the problems.

The question is … what action to take?

The answer I want to offer is Do Something, Do.

There’s so many problems to address in the world that nobody can work on all of them all at the same time.  The urgency of the situation calls on us all to act with one person working on one problem, another person working on another problem, so that collectively all the problems are addressed.

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Pick something, and start working.  Smartly.  Not only are the problems urgent, they have to be addressed for real.  We need real solutions to these problems, not more of the half-baked ideas that sound good on paper but are a disaster in practice.

There is power in doing something.  Without someone taking action, change does not occur.  We can pray to the almighty, we can pass pictures between our friends on Facebook, we can argue among ourselves, or we can suffer the desperation that nothing is being done.  None of those will change anything by themselves.  Real action needs to take place to cause change to occur.

Actions must be wisely chosen.  There are plenty of people promoting lists of actions that supposedly will cause positive change.  But will those action lists cause real beneficial change, are they simply feel-good actions with no depth of impact?  Or, even worse, will those actions line the pocket of the organization promoting them?

Choosing the impactful action is difficult, because real, deep, meaningful change is difficult.  A wise person once said, the level of thinking required to solve a problem transcends the thinking which created the problem.  For example, I see fossil fuels addiction as the source of most of these problems, so we must collectively transcend the thinking which see’s fossil fuels as the only form of power for our society, and adopt other methods of powering society.  Making meaningful change on that problem a broad scale of change across all strata of modern society.

Understand your world, and the context within which the problems exist.  No problem is an island.  Everything is connected.

Actions must be taken to completion, and focus on long term impact.  Given the long list of problems society faces it’d be easy to flit from problem to problem, doing a little on this problem, a little on that problem, spending weeks or months this way.  Will that pattern have impact?  Or is there more impact from sticking with a problem, seeing your work through to conclusion?

One of the best feelings is completing a project, and seeing its effects living in the world.  Maybe the project is a barn with solar panels on the roof enabling a farmer to earn additional income.  That farmer won’t enjoy the economic benefit until the barn is finished, the solar panels installed, the grid intertie working, government policies enacted to require electrical utilities to buy the electricity, so the farmer starts receiving checks every month.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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