My 2018 Hero: 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg
We all want to be inspired. We want to motivated to take action. We’d love to be part of some great solution to the world’s problems.
Whether it’s JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country” or MLK’s “I have a dream” speech, a great speech can help create unbelievable change.
History will one day show that Greta Thundberg’s speech at the UN Climate Change COP24 Conference on December 12, 2018 was a pivotal moment in the fight to curb climate change. This 15-year-old girl’s courage to act and to speak out against the future that’s being stolen from her and her children’s future is my choice for hero for 2018.
Take a few minutes to listen to her speech, even if you’ve already heard it.
Let her words echo into your minds and hearts. Let them inspire you.
“We cannot solve a crisis without treating it like a crisis.”
“We are coming to let you know that real change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.”
“You are never too small to make a difference.”
“You are not mature enough to tell it like it is.”
It’s not just that she’s given the most powerful speech of 2018, it’s that she’s taken action in 2018.
“On 20 August 2018, Thunberg, then in ninth grade, decided to not attend school until the 2018 Sweden general election on 9 September after heat waves and wildfires in Sweden. Her demands were that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions as per the Paris Agreement, and she protested via sitting outside the Riksdag every day during school hours with the sign Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for climate).
After the general elections, she continued to strike only on Fridays, which gained worldwide attention. She inspired school students across the globe to take part in student strikes. As of December 2018, more than 20,000 students held strikes in at least 270 cities in countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. In Australia, thousands of school students were inspired by Thunberg to strike on Fridays, ignoring Prime Minister Scott Morrison‘s comments of ‘more learning in schools and less activism.’ ”
I encourage everyone to share her speech with others who have yet to hear it, especially youth. Let them see that their voice is important. That it matters. That we are listening.
Be inspired. Take action to help curb climate change.