But more importantly, the Trump era has drastically changed the landscape and re-defined the priorities of progressive causes so dramatically that I’ve been “in the weeds” as it were, trying to figure it out as it changes in real time. And just when I think I’ve seen the landscape enough to paint a picture of it here, it seems to shift. I’ve been taking actions and redefining my theory of change, and I’m ready(ish) to share with you what I think, believe and know. Truthfully, in any conversation about impact, you never really know what you’ve accomplished until the outcome stage. “The proof is in the pudding” so to speak. And so to be perfectly honest with myself and to you, for a long time I have struggled with writing this blogpost because when are you ever done? The answer is never. On this long arc of the moral universe as Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, I don't think we ever reach the end. But that's not the point. The point is we work towards bending it every day.
One of my founding principles, though, is never let the perfect be the enemy of the good or eco. So here’s hoping this post helps you in one way or the other.
This idea for a post topic is in recognition of the numerous people asking me “but seriously Megan, how do you know which environmental organizations to give to that have the most impact?” I am definitely going to answer that with a direct response. But first I am going to walkthrough a few priorities on that journey. While it may seem to swerve and wander, I can assure you it’s with necessity and intention. And I hope you end up having the impact you are truly seeking.
1. Believe that you can
I am here to tell you one simple truth: if you believe you can’t make a difference, then you definitely won’t.
The individual belief that one person can’t make a difference is something we all share. This feeling is universal. This cuts to the core of our own insecurities as people. Every human has this doubt. But therein lies the unlock. If every person had this same doubt, then so did Nelson Mandela, Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, and Susan B. Anthony. We talk about their legacies as though it was inevitable. But in reading autobiographies of all these folks the theme of self-doubt is deep throughout. Their doubt is the same doubt that we all share, and it is the relief valve towards progress. They were just one person, too. And their progress was not theirs alone. Their progress was thanks to thousands, tens of thousands, maybe even millions of individual actions from people whose names we don’t know and were part of the movements they have come to symbolize. Embrace the possibilities and hold space for awe at what can be accomplished. And I've said before, if you have a case for optimism as the way to solve climate change, you can be optimistic about the change you seek too.
So if you want to have an impact, first, you have to believe you can.
The next four steps are after the jump, after this poem which always inspires me to bring my mindset back into the truth of infinite possibility.
Our Deepest Fear
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.