I’ve seen this popping up online and in real life conversations a lot.
Seeing this once is once too often:
“There’s no point telling people to save the planet by going vegan or driving less. The big corporations are the real polluters. Why should the little guy do anything when they won’t?”
Whether or not you agree with that statement – or whether you even care about the environment at all – it’s worth unpacking that.
Let me dissect the levels on which this logic fails:
The Stoic Level
There’s no philosophy that’s perfect for all situations, but Stoicism, Buddhism and similar ideals are as close as it gets. If you take responsibility for your situation and accept what is real, you’ll do better almost every time.
You can’t control what corporations or politicians do.
You can, however, control what do you.
If you care about something, then take action. If not, then don’t. Refusing to make modest changes while insisting others make radical ones is wildly unwise. It’s a failure of character.
The choices you make reinforce the future you want. Will you cutting back on red meat save the planet? Of course not. But you have the choice between doing a little and doing nothing, then that’s no choice at all. If you complain that the little you can do is ‘too little’ – and so you won’t do it – then you’re no different to someone who doesn’t care.
The Practical Level
Even the most evil corporation follows the money.
Even the most self-serving politician follows the votes.
I’m sure there are organisations out there who are evil enough to want to enslave you. That sure would save them having to pay you a salary. They don’t do that, though, because they can’t get away with it.
They can, however, get away with wrecking the place – up to a point.
The typical person says they care about the environment, then makes no changes in their lifestyle. So what do we see? We see corporations saying they care about the environment too… and doing nothing. We see politicians talking about how precious the environment is… and saying “carbon neutral by 2631!!!”.
And that’s all. They don’t have to do anything but talk and make vague commitments because, guess what, that’s all you do too.
The Logical Level
“Why should I do something when corporations do nothing? Corporations should do something while I do nothing!”
Yeah, okay. Do I even need to explain the failure of logic there?
No matter how you cut it, the logic only leads to action.
If you care about something – the environment or some other cause – then do something.
No, talking about it doesn’t count. It might help, sure, but it’s no substitute for action.
Do something or admit you don’t care enough to – those are your choices.
Now, here’s a question:
Do you care about your future?
“Of course I do, William. What sort of question is that?”
A reasonable one, I thought.
Because are you taking action to improve your future?
Bold, courageous action, involving clever sacrifice and hard work?
If not, then you don’t really care about your future. You only say you do.
If, however, you want to commit to building a better future for yourself, sign up for Platinum Coaching. It’ll take your mind from where it is to where it needs to be for you to thrive.
Sign up here: