I met with an inspiring woman this afternoon. A believer. I like those people. They give me a warm sense of hope. She said something I have been thinking about ever since. We were discussing poverty and she argued that the fight against it is not mainly about getting the government to take action. It is about changing the mentality of people.
Think about it for a moment. Do you agree?
I most certainly do. I believe that our values and ideas are what define us and will furthermore decide our actions. We need to think something, feel something, care for something before we do anything. If we can get people to care for each other, don't you think we will be more eager to fight for better conditions for everyone?
A government is not an institution that has the power to simply solve a problem if we only define it. No. It can provide us with the tools to build the society we want to have. Yes. But the values and ideas must come from each and every one of us. I had this discussion with my father once, who found me a bit naïve for claiming that one tiny person can make a huge change. I still stick to my opinion that that is absolutely possible. Because what are all the big networks made up of if not smaller pieces?
No people, no government. When we show that we care for each other, a government will have to care about us. And that is what will make a difference.
This woman said that people sometimes argue that she believes too much. I then gave her one of my favorit quotes: "Soyez réaliste. Demandez l'impossible." ("Be realistic. Demand the impossible.") Small steps can take us a long way. We should always believe.