Soap Box Speeches

Mark Johnson

There are many problems in the world. We have the power to solve them, but I think many of us feel like we won’t be able to make big changes. One possibility is that we will try for a year or two and then we will give up. We will give up because there are too many problems in the world and we, as individuals, seem very insignificant. We’ll just live as well as we can while society and the environment crumble around us. Everyone’s suffering is their own. We don’t suffer as the masses in disasters. We don’t suffer as the masses of poverty. We don’t suffer as the masses who feel like they have no calling. We suffer as individuals. Whether I die alone or with half the population, it’s all the same to me and all the same for everybody else. So why care? Why put forth the effort? Because trying to solve the problems the masses suffer from isn’t all about saving lives or improving the quality of life. It is about appreciating life; it’s about appreciating the quality of life. If we do not fight, then we risk taking our lives and the quality of our lives for granted.
If we give up on our efforts and pigeonhole ourselves as useless then we will never try again. If we decide that we ourselves are na‹ve and not our methods, then we will waste away and die without a sound. How can we persevere? In general, we are limited by our feeling of being dwarfed by the problem because it is so huge. That is why we need to start out locally. If we solve local problems, then we will be empowered enough to take on something bigger. We must start locally if we are ever going to realize global change in the future. This is not to say that local problems are not important in themselves. They are intrinsically important. But they also help us realize our power. They help us feel like we can make big changes. I propose that our first local problem to tackle is the no-bid contracts Boldt Construction Company receives from the school, and we can fight this by showing up to the LUCC meeting on Tuesday in Riverview at 5:15 p.m. We can put pressure on the representatives who are voting on whether or not they think they have the power to make a difference. Let’s inspire them with our energy.