Overcoming Defeatism


Yesterday morning I was waiting for my train to work, my mind constantly wandering to the exact spot in by backpack where my newest treasure lied. My new book  “how to change the world” was ready to be devoured. As soon as I got into the train, fighting my way through sleepy bodies unwilling to move in any sort of direction, I found a seat, opened the backpack looked for my book. As I was pulling it out and re-read the title “How to change the world” it suddenly seemed so shameful. I caught myself trying to hide the cover from any curious eye around me like I was a 16 year-old boy reading a porn magazine for the first time.

Shame Shame Shame.
But why? Why did I find this action had to be hidden from the world like I was doing something wrong? Was I?

I continue reading. Chapter 1. “Overcoming Defeatism”.
Sentence one. “How can I, one individual in a  world of billions, hope to change anything?”

And then it dawned on me - I was hiding the book because I was afraid of being ridiculed. I myself strongly believe every single person can make a change, which I will get into later, but I know most peoples thoughts are of mockery and take up an “as if” tone.  I was projecting a thought process I have many times heard people say to me in the past two years: ‘you’re a dreamer’ ‘how can you think you can change anything’ ‘why would you even try, it’s just a waste of time’ ‘change happens from the top’ ‘how to change the world?! Haha like there’s a formula!!’
Isn’t it almost a sign that the current system is functional in its play for authority and maintenance of the status quo when a dreamer like me is afraid of showing she wants to change something?

Shame. Shame. Shame.
I continue reading.

In Thomas Carlyle’s words, we are taught “history is the biography of great men”. But wouldn’t you agree that those men couldn’t have done the great or bad things they did on their own? Think about it, what determines power? It’s not an act of self-proclamation, but rather something that is given to you and recognized by others.
If you look a little closer you will notice that, as Tolstoy put it, an “infinitely larger number of infinitesimally small actions” have made it possible.  Everything we do is making history, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed and even when we are sleeping and not doing nothing. Because during our day we make an infinite amount of decisions that seem so trivial and often even boring to us, for example we choose what peanut butter to buy at the supermarket. Little do we know that, that specific meaningless action is driving deforestation in Indonesia because our peanut butter contains palm oil. It’s just peanut butter after all how can it have any kind of impact on the world! But, if a lot of people stop buying that brand and revert to a different one that doesn’t contain palm oil, the company will change its recipe. Sales are all that matters, and if a product is not selling because of an ingredient I guarantee you it will be changed. Yes, it’s that simple.
The same happens for fashion. It only takes some dedication and mindfulness to understand what’s wrong with the systems already in place, resist buying into it, until it has been changed.
I should not be ashamed of wanting to change something that I find wrong. If anything maybe the title of my book will inspire thought and conversation in someone else on this mornings commute.

nit: S.Bon Knitwear | Skirt: Second-hand from Traid | Shoes: second-hand boots | Belt: vintage
The knit is part of S.Bon's new knitwear line, which is all sustainably produced in Kiev, Ukraine by artisans. And the skirt is one I bought from traid over a year ago and can't stop wearing, as you can see below