This problem is peculiar because though individual actions do not seem to make a difference, the aggregate of them can produce significant results. While it might feel like individual actions are too small to matter, they do make a difference in some ways!
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We are individuals that are part of a collective. If the action is something that produces good results if many people did it, even if we are just one person, it is something that should be done! If we did something that produces good outcomes, we are being the change that we want to see in our society.
When others see positive action towards mitigating climate change, it might create a knock-on effect where others are inspired to do the same. A study found that 50% of the respondents fly less because they knew someone who gave up flying because of climate change. Personally, when my friends and family see that I eat less meat, they see that it is not as difficult as it sounds, and are encouraged to do likewise.
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Encouraging changes in individuals’ lives need not detract us from the effort put into systemic action. Instead, it can strengthen and deepen it. Often, individual actions and systemic changes are not as detached as we imagine. Starting from individual actions that are more manageable can encourage people to work towards larger changes together.
To conclude, in scripture, we are given the imagery of the church being the body of Christ, made up of different parts. Each part plays a distinct role that allows the body to function and flourish. One part can’t do without the others, the smaller parts are not less important and the larger parts are not more important. While the actions we take may seem small, we should not belittle them. We can begin to be better stewards of God’s earth even through actions that seem minuscule.
That said, we shouldn’t merely stop at individual actions. Climate change is a systemic issue and requires system changes (Find out more at this carrd.co resource made by Singaporean artist, writer, activist, @earthtodorcas: https://takeclimateaction.carrd.co/). As individual Christians, there’s so much that we can do. As a church, the body of Christ, what more?
This was originally posted on our Instagram as part of an FAQ series. Follow us @creationcare.sg