Greta Thunberg- The Kid Who Changed The Way We See Our World
Not many people try to save the world when they are in their teens. Most of us are too busy either enjoying our life or trying to figure out life for ourselves. But then we have some exceptional humans who just go on to prove that no matter how old or young you are, you can still change the world. Greta Thunberg is one such teenager who has taken the world by storm. What started as a small protest by her in front of the Swedish Parliament building last August has become a worldwide movement against climate change.
More than 1.4 million people from around the world participated in the ‘School Strikes For Climate’ action. Children moved out of the schools in 2,233 cities in 128 countries around the globe because of the solo protest (20 August 2018) that Thunberg started. Around four years ago Thunberg was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. She found it increasingly difficult to not think about things.
To quote her, “ I overthink. Some people can just let things go, but I can’t, especially if there’s something that worries me or makes me sad. I remember when I was younger, and in school, our teachers showed us films of plastic in the ocean, starving polar bears and so on. I cried through all the movies. My classmates were concerned when they watched the film, but when it stopped, they started thinking about other things. I couldn’t do that. Those pictures were stuck in my head.”
It almost seems like she is incapable of cognitive disallowance that allows you to think about something for some time and forget about it in the next moment. All of us were sad when we saw that documentary of the starving polar bear, with skin barely hanging from the bones, but how many of us actually stopped using plastic or refrigerators or air conditioners? Thunberg and her parents have come to realise that this might just be a blessing in disguise, had she not thought so deeply and passionately about the issue, the world would not have seen the fiery activist within her.
The Start Of A Climate Revolution
Thunberg first heard about the ongoing climate change when she was eight years old and was appalled by the indifferent attitude of adults around her. She could not let go of the fact and it kept pestering her. She was also going through a phase of depression and had stopped going to school. She used to talk to her parents about the way she feels about climate change and the changing environment. Her parents were probably amongst the first few people who were transformed because of her persuasion and dedication.
She realised that she could actually bring about change. She was always passionate about environmental issues and was also a part of a small group of students who wanted to work on similar lines. After the record heat wave in northern Europe and the forest fire that ravaged huge portions of the Swedish land, Thunberg decided to start alone. She drew a placard and sat on the cobblestone path in front of the Swedish parliament. As the days went by people kept joining and now it has become one of the biggest movement against climate change.
She takes her motivation from the US school students who moved out of their classes as a sign of protest against the gun laws.
In the last few months, Thunberg has been appreciated and filled by millions and has also been recognised by the United Nations. Very recently she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her dedication towards the cause is inspiring. In her speeches, she talks about how we need to change the system to bring about climate change.
To quote her, “ We need a whole new way of thinking. The political system that you [adults] have created is all about competition. You cheat when you can because all that matters is to win. That must come to an end. We need to start cooperating and sharing the remaining resources of this planet in a fair way. We are just passing on the words of science. Our only demand is that you start listening to it, and then start acting.”
She is an inspiration to millions of young kids and adults. Her story goes on to prove that no matter how difficult life might get, you can still make a difference. You might think that your contribution doesn’t matter or that it is just one person (you) or it is too early or late to do something. You never know what hard work and dedication can do.
“I don’t care if what I’m doing – what we’re doing – is hopeful. We need to do it anyway. Even if there’s no hope left and everything is hopeless, we must do what we can.”- Greta Thunberg