12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suziki addresses the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro:
I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I want you to realize neither do you… if you don’t know how to fix it then please stop breaking it.
Watch it on YouTube and weep — this was fifteen years ago. The story took a decade and a half to reach you; it’s older than she was in 1992.
It’s inspiring to see individuals take strong stands; sobering to reflect on how thoroughly we absorb the impact, applauding and forgetting. (See Herbert Marcuse from the 60s on ‘repressive tolerance’.) Still:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
The question this video leaves me with finally is not “What difference did that make?” but Tolstoy’s “What then must we do?”