Creating Change


  • This past year
  • Getting to the root of the problem
  • Our problems are interconnected
  • Creating change and building a better world
  • “Us” vs. “Them”
  • How we can do better
  • A better world is possible


chlidren's drawing of a row of colorful houses
Image by Prawny from Pixabay


Creating Change

This past year…

This past year was undoubtedly one of the hardest years of our lives.  Everything came to a standstill as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the world.  And we all took a long (involuntary) pause to take a look at our lives and our world.  We re-evaluated our priorities, our daily routines, our habits, how far we were standing from each other, even the very air we breathed.  This space is to start envisioning a world in which we have a better quality of life- more access to open green space, more vacations, higher wages, less traffic, better neighborhoods- a place where we can all breathe more easily.  To get there, we must be able to understand and analyze complex situations and search for possible ways to resolve problems.  To truly change something for the better, there are three facets we must understand.


man looking at drawing board
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Getting to the root of a problem

You have to dig deep, and always be open to new perspectives to broaden your understanding. Not everything is as it appears.  And as Malcolm X said, “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”  If you can correctly identify a problem, you are more than halfway through to solving it.  Too often, we are busy- personally and as a society- putting bandages all over our problems.  Someone who grasps the complexity of a problem will hesitate to offer quick solutions.  It does not mean we are not qualified, are not educated enough, or don’t have the ability to work on improving our world.  Hesitation signals self-awareness.  But too often we are tricked into stagnation and paralysis as society fools us into doubting our experiences and our knowledge.  And we end up with an entire class of career politicians.  Politics is not a luxury; it is not reserved for the elites.  Should we have educated and well-informed leaders making important decisions?  Of course.  But shouldn’t we ALL be educated and well-informed?  Politics is a necessity.  Doing the work is hard, but it is vital if we want to make better decisions, not just in how we vote every four years, but how our actions build our communities and our country.  We do the hard work to understand things so we can overcome the fears and anxieties society impresses upon us and instead, be confident in ourselves and feel safer in our communities and the world future generations will inherit.


cartoon drawings of dozens of people all connectedtogether
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Our problems are interconnected

A lot of the time I hear “THAT doesn’t affect me” or “I’m not really into politics, it doesn’t affect me.” Everything affects you, the things that you are ignoring are likely making your life harder and there are people and corporations that rely on your apathy to fill their coffers.  Paying attention costs time and money (newspaper subscriptions, books, education, and the time to read it all), but it also produces revenue (more informed choices, better quality of life, more tools at your disposal for advocating for yourself, your family, and your community).  Once we start seeing those connections between interrelated issues, we can realize the power of connected resolutions.  Note: In urban planning, we choose the word “resolution” or “re-solution” because problems will always exist, they will be re-created, re-shaped and re-appear in different ways.  Every solution ever suggested probably has side effects and unintended negative and positive consequences.  We must never offer a solution and then stand back and announce our work completed.  Rather, we must continuously try to improve upon the resolution we implement.  This is not a never-ending burdensome task.

This is the beauty of work that goes beyond ourselves.  There is beauty in always growing, always building, in setting a cycle into motion that will have many revolutions after we stop peddling.  Think of all the beautiful buildings in the world that took hundreds of years to build, work and skills passed on from father to son.  It is a privilege to help create something with a positive legacy- something that helps someone breathe more easily, play more freely, live more bravely.  One key lesson once we understand that problems are interconnected, is that resolutions can be too.  We are not alone in this struggle.  We can, and we must, work collaboratively to layer our efforts in order to reap the benefits of their compound interest.  Working together with our neighbors, our coworkers, our counterparts across the globe is a proven strategy to improve our quality of life.

hand with blue writing meeting hand with red writing, words include "unite" "reach out" "connect"
Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Creating change and building a better world

This is the million-dollar question that stumps us all.  How can we create change?  What can I do?  This past year many of us were faced with a lot of questions, reflections, and challenges to our perspectives and worldviews.  And as we were exhausted by tragedy upon tragedy, we questioned, “So what do you do about it?  How do we change that?”  If your conversations reached those questions, take a moment to acknowledge the capacity for depth which that demonstrates.  And now, knowing that everyone is interconnected- realize that you were not alone asking those questions.  Those conversations were happening all across the globe and people everywhere were faced with tough questions and were collectively overwhelmed.  And THAT is the strategy of the oppressor: to exhaust us into oblivion.  To overwhelm us, especially those of us paying attention, to belittle us.  But the oppressor is simple.  The oppressor has one and only one motivation- power.  Oppressive regimes, whether they be politicians, corporations, abusive partners are only motivated by a desire for power.  Often power is achieved through wealth and resources- and we are living in a capitalistic world where it seems the objective of many is to hoard all the money.  And this is their weakness.  Here is where we get into the us vs. them.


“Us” includes:

  • Everyone that is not the top 10% of the socioeconomic class- the other 90% of the world
  • Everyone who has ever feared medical bills they cannot afford, ever worked a minimum wage job or below minimum wage job, anyone who could not afford college, anyone who has worried about how to make rent; anyone who has felt utterly alone
  • Everyone who believes that the world can must be better

“Them” includes:

  • The 1% billionaires who make their money off the labor of others
  • The people who refuse to grow empathy and choose to make life harder for others
  • The pessimists who think things are impossible to change and cannot envision a happier world with less pain and suffering
picture from the women's, one sign reads "We are better than this" march
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

How can we do better

The first step to working towards a better world is, of course, to become more informed.  Social media has helped raise awareness for so many issues and brought them into the spotlight.  This “fast news” cycle trend can result in fatigue and helplessness as well.  As we become aware, if it is not coupled with some sort of activity, we can quickly “give up” and decide that there are smarter and more educated people out there that can do this heavy lifting.  We bench ourselves from our own society!  We cannot afford to be on the sidelines of a political game that is going to affect our lives every single day.  Making one small move- whether it be subscribing to a newspaper, buying someone a meal, or spending time outdoors- will help sustain this life-long marathon of world improvement.  Movements throughout history have changed the world and won rights and privileges that seemed impossible at the time.  Together, we can build that energy, build on the work of those before us, and achieve greater heights that may seem mountainous to us as individuals, but are surmountable together.


chalkboard with question starters
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

A better world is possible

To talk about fixing things, one is inevitably an optimist.  Many may say that politics is “depressing” or that discussing certain topics and making poignant observations is “cynical.”  I whole-heartedly refute that.  It is the eternal optimist that refuses to settle for the worst in humanity, but rather is constantly disappointed because we have seen the best of humanity.  We refuse to settle for less than what this country and this world promises.  We refuse to settle because we know family members, neighbors, strangers with heartbreaking stories and we know that we can do better.  This is a place for the optimists.  I will not shy away from the awful truths this world hides in its shadows, and I will challenge you to rise to be your best.  Why?  Because people are good.  And they deserve a chance to shine.  And as a citizen of the world, I want to help others see how their lives can be better, how their futures can be brighter, and how their days can be lighter- if we choose to make them as such.  I demand better from our governments.  I demand better because we all deserve better.  And I refuse to be gaslit into thinking we can’t have it.  A better world is not only possible, it is our birthright; just as it is our responsibility, to make it so.


picture of the inside of a metro train, black and white
Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay


Take a moment this week to think about a change that would make your life better.  A shorter work commute?  An affordable daycare center?  More time outdoors?  Every post will explore a topic and I will give my take on it.  I’ll do my best to provide well-researched information to help us rethink how we see our lives.  There are a lot of ways we can make a difference in the world from volunteering time to donating to a cause, but one important avenue we can no longer bypass, is the need for political action.  I welcome you to share your ideas if you would like me to discuss something in particular- anything from the price of college, to your daily traffic commute, to the farmer’s protest in India.  Share what you’d like to talk about in the comments!  I look forward to taking deep dives and dynamic discussions!