The paradox of individual change

We want to reduce our carbon footprint, but fly to Bali for a yoga retreat. We want to do no harm, but eat Döner on a regular basis. We want equality while at the same time wanting to be at the top of the hierarchy. Some might say we are hypocrites. But we are not. Or maybe we are. But that’s not the problem. If it were, we knew what to do about it. Instead, what is truly the beauty and challenge is that we are co-constituted with the world.

We are ontologically inseparable from the world. Like a lichen, which pretends to be one being but is actually a symbiotic association between fungi and algae, we pretend to be individuals, when in fact we are entangled beings of naturecultural relations. What this means for our aspirations to live a regenerative lifestyle is that we can’t change anything as individuals, while at the same time, as Margaret Mead famously said

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”