I think maybe if people remembered this, we would see much less apathy and possibly change much quicker than we imagined.
After all, besides money, the other extremely powerful force that can affect change is people in large numbers.
Plus, “All revolutions are the sheerest fantasy until they happen; then they become historical inevitabilities,” another quote from Mitchell in his novel Cloud Atlas.
That doesn’t necessarily mean some sort of armed or violent or forceful revolution, but perhaps and preferably a revolution of the mind that brings together large groups of people that finally say, “Enough. We are tired of the status quo.”
From what I hear from all sorts of people with different political, religious, etc., beliefs, change is desired, yet there is little real – or large enough - effort to bring any of it about, except voting and hoping for something that never seems to happen, and if it does, not nearly in the way so many people hoped.
Mitchell writes, quite passionately, “If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth and claw, if we believe diverse races and creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable and the riches of the Earth and its oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass.”
I’m not saying that is what we all believe or must subscribe to, but you get the point.
I realize I’ve quoted Mitchell a few times in this column, but I believe his words are inspirational and he is a great thinker.
I’m not the only one, as Time magazine listed him among the 100 most influential people in the world.
Action and belief are powerful, as are people, when they conquer their apathy and believe in themselves and take action to change the world.
Stephen Bartlett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org