Tonight I went to a talk about climate change by Naomi Klein, a Canadian writer and activist. Going into it, I was worried that it was going to be a depressing lecture about how the Earth is doomed, complete with photos of polar bears floating adrift on melting icebergs.
Instead, the talk was a call for transformation - from fossil fuel to renewable energy, from a profit-driven economy to a human-centred society, from isolation to community. It was 90 minutes of a left-wing, granola crunchy vision for humanity*, and I loved it. Her talk encompassed everything I believe about how the world should strive to operate, only articulated in a vastly more intelligent and entertaining way than I ever could.
As I listened, I was hopeful that the world might just be capable of realizing the things I believe in: environmental sustainability, racial/gender/sexual equality, empowerment of the poor and the marginalized. And I wondered, what is my role in this? As a physician (and as a queer, able-bodied, white, upper class woman), how do I live out my values and contribute to the society that I want to see? How do I move beyond earning a paycheque and paying off debt to making a lasting change in my community?
I don't quite know yet, nor do I have the energy to really delve into this question late on a Friday night, but it is definitely something to think about. Any ideas?
*Supported by a very solid research base and understanding of economics/politics/world systems.