Thirty weeks ago Greta Thunberg sat down outside of the Swedish parliament with a sign that says “SKOLSTREJK FÖR KLIMATET”.
In English, this means School Strike for Climate. With this action, a now 16-year-old girl had started a movement.
Inspired by Greta’s determination millions of youth are now coming together to take a stand for their own and our planet’s future as well as demanding actions to be taken by lawmakers. On March 15, over 1.4 million joined together in 2083 places in 125 different countries across the globe to make their voices heard because now is the time to take action.
A friend and I decided to join the #SchoolStrike4Climate in Stockholm, the very place where it all started thirty weeks earlier. This time there were a lot more people.
I find that there is something really powerful and uplifting about people coming together to do good. Even so, I find myself standing amidst the crowd wondering in which way us all yelling “keep it in the ground” is actually making a difference.
I then remind myself that we are in no way walking away that day having become perfect climate activists. And that isn’t what should be expected to not be called a hypocrite. But, we can all walk away that day knowing that together we made our voices heard and hopefully inspired enough to make changes in our everyday life and as a result of that be kinder to our planet. That should be what counts. Because in the end, if many do little, together, we are doing a lot.
That same night I went to the Shawn Mendes concert with my sister, my friend, and her niece. This may seem unconnected to the topic but bear with me.
I wanted to tell you that his song YOUTH resonated a little extra with what had been on my mind that day. Mid-song he stops to tell us what the word youth means to him. These were his words.
“I am not talking about a word that describes how old or young you are. I am talking about a word that describes the feeling of freedom and the feeling of happiness, do you know what I am talking about? I just want to take a second right now just to say that, no matter how old or young you are, every single person in this arena right now, you are the people who have the power to change the world for the better, do you understand what I mean!? It is up to us to stand our ground and say that no matter what happens our youth will not be taken away from us, sing with me as loud as you can!! You can’t take my youth away, this soul of mine will never break, as long as I wake up today, you can’t take my youth away” -Shawn Mendes
I fell asleep that night feeling more empowered by the world than I had waking up that morning. Believing that thousands of more people were falling asleep with that same feeling. Ready to wake up the next day wanting to learn how we can be better and how we can do better. I strongly believe that this is the reason why today mattered.
Why for someone to skip school to take part in a movement of empowerment can be ok. Because I believe that a day of togetherness can spark change.
And as my sister would say when she has feelings of hope and happiness: “Heart goes pitter-patter.”
Love to all,
and thank you for empowering me.