Andrea Edwards

Finding a silver lining in the world’s current predicament

How are you feeling? Excited? Hopeful? Like we’re about to enter the bestest ever chapter in the history of human beings? Yeah me either.
It’s been a shitty bloody year all up. John Oliver’s video Fuck You 2016 certainly resonated. You can watch it here if you haven’t. But I recommend you play until the end.
However, it’s important to find the silver lining no – post Trump, post Brexit, and post whatever other shit is coming next?? I mean we’re all in this together, no matter how currently divided the world seems to be, so there must be some good to come of it? Found it yet? No?
Well for me it’s simple. We’ve had a BIG wakeup call and a BIG kick in the arse! And yes, I know many believe this is how the world works – it goes in cycles and we’ve just got to endure it again, go to war, make peace, and continue as before. But you know what, screw that, because we don’t have time.
Please check this out – The 13 impossible crises that humanity now faces. Many won’t appreciate this article, many will disagree, but Trump is only one part of lots and lots of big problems we need to deal with. The environment being the very BIG one. The rapid escalation of extinctions another BIG one. Missed that story? Here it is – World on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020, major report warns.
Future mass migration is coming. Let’s prepare for it. Top soil is disappearing and we’ve only got 60 harvests left, which could mean mass starvation in the not too distant future. That’s a bloody BIG one. Water wars are predicted. In fact, according to this article, almost half of humanity will face water scarcity by 2030. Heck, if India and Pakistan go nuclear – which will ultimately be over water – we’re all fucked anyway, because that’s always been seen as a when not an if.
On top of this, we’re facing more far right politicians probably getting elected – awesome. White supremacists are on the rise. And as a white person, what the fuck is wrong with those people? My word! Supreme to who? Just fucking moronic that thinking.
I could go on. But we’ve got to find that silver lining and it is simple.
You, me, and anyone who cares about this world needs to get off our arses and we need to do our bit. We need to fight. We need to protest. We need to speak. We need to get involved wherever it makes sense for us to get involved. And we need to be part of the change we want.
You don’t like what that big company is doing?
You go online to the public stock exchange, download their annual report, find out every senior executive in this company (including all contact info), as well as who is investing in the project you’re protesting, and you tell the world who they are. Then you write to the CEOs contributing to the destruction of our planet or society, and all of the other senior executives who are listed on these very publicly available documents. You don’t get a response? You keep going and tell everyone who’s willing to listen to do it too. You do it privately and publicly, but you do it. Social media is here for this. Not the other bullshit we’re enduring right now. Which brings me onto the next point.
We fight the fake news phenomenon
This is big, really big. Please read this article How fake news online skewed the US election (thanks Simon). I almost can’t believe people did this for profit, but of course they did – fuckers!
But we’ve got to stop this and it starts with the platforms sharing this shit (and profiting from it) like Google and Facebook, but it also comes back to us. We’ve got to commit to fact checking before sharing. If it feels a little too sensationalist, it’s probably worth an extra step and checking. Here’s a link to Snopes where you can find out if something is true. There are many other sites like this.
It’s time to get the world back to appreciating fact, because if belief and faith in the conviction of global leaders is all we have…. well….  
Another step you can take is to subscribe to the media you support and believe in. The one’s who still hold the ethics of journalism to heart. They are struggling to survive in this digital world and we need them more now than ever. Subscribe to the one you value.
And yes, I know the media are part of the cycle of bollocks we’ve endured this year, but if we lose access to the truth – to true investigative journalism – well, then the time really will be dark. Media freedom is essential to our world and we’re losing it on our watch.
Support the causes you believe in
Individually you can do amazing stuff, but there are great organizations out there already doing big stuff. I like Avaaz, and organizations like Blue Dragon saving people who are being trafficked. There are many like this.
Also make sure you’re not buying from companies who support slavery,  and don’t buy from companies who don’t have control of their complete supply chain – and I mean right down to that collapsing factory in Bangladesh. They are responsible. Make sure they know it. We vote with our feet and we have power.
I donate to Kiva to help women succeed. Proof is an amazing organization fighting for human rights. Support them.
And most importantly, I share information on the issues and causes I care about. I have a diverse, global, network. We don’t all agree with each other and that’s fine. But I share my views and maybe, just maybe, I can touch hearts and change minds. The more of us who believe we can, the better.
Start mastermind groups of change
I joined a mastermind group this year. It’s my first one, but it’s all about supporting each other to be successful. I love it. But how about we start mastermind groups for change? Get a group of people together that are aligned in passion and map out actions you can take together collectively? Change always starts at the ground level, but it can feel lonely when you’re doing it by yourself. So get a gang together, drink, laugh, but plan out actions you’ll take as a group and make a difference. Get others motivated to join you or encourage them to start their own. We get lots of these going, we start seeing impact. Who wants to join one with me?
Be kind
And lastly, we’ve got to be kind. I got into a discussion with a friend of a friend on Facebook and they weren’t nice to me or anyone else. But being an asshole doesn’t help at all. If you believe something, try and help other’s see another way of looking at things. Not everyone is going to buy into what you say, but one might and that’s where the ripples of change start. You can’t do it if you fight back and get arsey. People close off. They don’t want to hear it. Why would they?
There’s a few ideas. I could obviously continue. What would you add? What’s the silver lining you see?
All things happen for a reason right? And I really think the time we’re facing is because we needed to be woken up in a big way and it’s long overdue.
No matter how we look at this, we’re all in this together and we’ve got to find a way to get back in alignment as a species. If we stay focused on being in opposition to each other and take our eye off the real issues we’re facing, well we’ll kill our beautiful world and destroy the future for our children. We’ve got big shit we’re facing, but we need to do it together.
What say you?
Yours, without the bollocks
Every cloud has a silver lining image courtesy of Shutterstock.
BTW I’m on Twitter here, Google+ here, Instagram here, and Facebook too, if you’re interested in the other stuff I share. Feel free to share my blog if you think anyone you know will be interested or entertained. I sure do appreciate it when you do xxxxx

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