The state uses its muscle poer to quell the thousands of protesters in Koodamkulam, villagers in Omkareswar, had to stand for 17days in 'jal satyagraha' in the water to fight for their legitimate and constitutional rights for rehabilitation on being ousted from their lands and livelihood. Several people following Anna Hazare and others go on a fast every now and then to fight against corruption. A series of scams has only hardened the remorseless stand of the government.
Witnessing all these - mostly second hand, through the media ends up giving up subtle messages that it is safer to toe in main stream. That going against the mainstream is tough and dangerous. The media also gives an impression through glamourous 'role-models' that life - as - usual and business as usual are fine. Under this scenario, how many youngsters, or middle-aged adults for that matter, are interested in change for themselves or for the world.
Yet there are youngsters around the world who have taken the less trodden path, braving disapproval of parents and the disbelief and peer pressure of friends. Cerianly a very miniscule percentatge of youth today may be looking at careers or activities that support and popularise sustainable living - but the seeds of change are there to see.
Many youngsters are part of movements to fight corporates and governmental explotiation in the US, Europe, Japan and other countries. Not too many people in India who have seen the materlistic 'good life' have been thrown out of jobs or threatened by banks for re-possession of their homes. Hence we do no have a phenomena like Occupy Wall Street or We are the 99%, but there is still a little 'buzz' about alternative life-styles.
In his book called 'Changeology', Les Robinson has written about the theory and practice of 'change'. The book showcases real-life stories and hard evidence about professionals and individuals who are acting to influnce the behaviour of corporations, neibhourhood, and groups and communities. He has summed up his findings through 6 principles of change. Briefly, they are Buzz, Hope, Enabling Environments, Sticky Solutions, Can do Attitude and the Right Inviter.
The Buzz about green living and hope is what is making several youngsters begin their social enterprises or activites for green ways of living. The other four principles are tougher but the youngsters featured in this issue and many others are leading the way to bring in changes we desperately need in these times when humanity seems to be hurtling towards disaster. We need to value and celebrate their concern for the world, their courage to have brave the odd of going against the mainstream and most of all, their spirit of giving.