How not to spread the message

On Monday I was talking to someone in my local community. I’d previously mentioned some of the Transition Monday ideas to him.
He told me about a local person he knew who was making and distributing eco-oil, for use in mechanical and engineering work that was currently being sold internationally.
When I expressed my surprise that this eco-oil (which I use on my bicycle) was made locally, he said,
“I’ve said before that change is happening. I’m seeing it everywhere.”
I must have looked like I didn’t quite agree, because he quickly followed with,
“People will only change when they’re ready. They won’t change because they’re being preached at, because they’re being told what to do. They have to come to it themselves.”
I know I can be a bit school-mahish, so I said,
“I’m sorry if I came across as preachy, I didn’t mean to.”
He replied,
“No you weren’t sounding preachy. I’m just saying people will come around when they’re ready. They don’t like to be told!”
I replied, “I’m just trying to put ideas out there, ideas I think are important. I think we need a space for new ideas,”
“But the ideas are already there,” he stated firmly.
Yes, I wanted to say, there’s ideas in the Climate Change Conversation, like keeping fossil fuels in the ground and transitioning to renewables. But I’m hearing nothing about our reliance on these fossil fuels, the increasing use of them and the challenges of transitioning to a post-fossil fuel world, which isn’t far away. And the relationship of oil to growing growing debt. See Government Agency Warns Global Oil Industry Is on the Brink of a Meltdown “Money supply and debt have grown faster than the real economy. Debt saturation and paralysis is now a very real risk, requiring a global scale reset.”
If I said what I just thought I might have started to sound preachy again … So I said instead,
“It is it about creating a space for the ideas people have. That there might only be a few of us at the beginning, but, just like when someone gets up to dance by themselves, before long, everyone can be up and dancing. It’s about getting new ideas out there …”
My friend is right to remind me that people don’t like to be told what to do. But maybe, just maybe, they won’t mind having a day where they can see more together, what’s going on, and importantly help co-create what could happen next … It wouldn’t be about anyone telling them what to think or what to do. It would be about creating a space and time for people to see ways forward for themselves and potentially everyone else.
Let me know what you think?

Image from Firebird Circus

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