Image Credits: imothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Climate Change. Agree with it or not, it’s an issue that has many of today’s youth concerned. One of these is a 16 year old Swedish girl by the name of Greta Thunberg. Last year, Greta started to advocate for governmental action on climate change by skipping school on Fridays and sitting outside the Swedish parliament building with a sign that read, “Skolstejk for Klimatet” translated, “School Strike for Climate.”
Today, she made headlines by a passionate speech about climate to the United Nations. Although we conservatives might not always agree with her, her motivation and conviction is something that we can all learn from.
She understands the power of the individual
When Greta couldn’t get her classmates on board with the idea of climate change, she decided to go outside the Swedish parliament building and protest herself. With just a sign and some books, she sat outside the building during school hours. Soon, other students started to skip school on Fridays and join her. The movement has now spread across Europe and the US.
As conservatives, we know that it only takes one person to make a difference. It’s important that we act as individuals when we believe in something. Although we might go at it alone for a long time, that doesn’t mean we should be afraid to stand up for what we believe in.
She doesn’t let anything hold her back
Greta is a person with Asperger’s, a condition on the autism spectrum that makes socializing and social situations more difficult for people. She also has selective mutism, an anxiety disorder that affects a person’s verbal abilities in social settings. Greta has faced these conditions head on and has made speeches in front of large groups and in front of governments.
Acknowledging everyone’s differences and embracing them is part of what makes America so great. Conservative women take the obstacles they face as a challenge, not a setback. We don’t take no for an answer and neither has Greta.
She stands firm in her convictions
When Greta was invited to the United Nations Climate Action Summit, she knew that a trip on a plane or ship would use large amounts of fossil fuels and emit gasses into the air. Instead, she made the two-week journey across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City on a racing yacht that emitted nothing into the atmosphere.
Even when conservative women are faced with tricky situations, we don’t back down. We find a way to be resourceful and adjust society to our beliefs. Doing something that everyone else is doing, just because it’s what’s popular isn’t something we are going to be okay with.
She understands how personal action leads to government action
Greta made personal changes, such as going vegan and reducing her carbon footprint. The realized that in order for a change to be made on a bigger scale, she first needed to act herself.
It is not enough to say that we need change. Ghandi famously said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” In order to cause change at a local, state or even federal level, we need to first make sure that we embody our cause.
She gets everyone on board
Greta has kept with her School Strike for over a year now. The movement has grown to international proportions. This all started with one Friday, missing school to go protest.
Conservative women know the power of the individual but also, we know how powerful groups can become if we band together to make a change. It might not be easy to get everyone to agree with us but we don’t give up.
You might not agree with Greta Thunberg however, it is important as conservative women, that we admire the efforts by people who believe in a cause and are willing to face their challenges and fight for it.
Emily Long is a senior at Lasell University in Boston studying communication and public relations. She loves writing for her school’s newspaper, being involved with faith life and reading. In the future, she wants to become a communication director for an elected official.
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