Focus the Nation: A perspective

Mark Johnson

Perspective: Mark Johnson, creator of five-minute speeches (inspiration for Greenfire Focus the Nation at Lawrence speeches)I think that it’s hard to completely articulate what a given group of people stand for. Greenfire, for example, is a group working to address environmental issues but we each vary in what environmental issues we think are important and how we should go about addressing them.

We usually agree to sponsor events that at least one person in the group disagrees with or thinks is lame, but keeps quiet. I know this happens because I’ve been that person. I didn’t say anything at the time mainly because I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. Now, looking back, I wish I had. Not only would I have had the chance of getting what I wanted or of developing the early stages of a spine, I also would have helped make the group more interesting.

This is why I think Greenfire’s idea of hosting student speeches for Focus the Nation is awesome. Since the speeches are by individuals and not by “Greenfire” they will show other students (and maybe each other) how varied our opinions are. The national program, Focus the Nation, is meant to promote the discussion of global warming but there won’t be much of a discussion if we all just come together and say “Man, global warming sucks.” The discussion will come from the details.