Finding it hard to sign the pledge?

This may be the reason…
“… When I think of people who I might invite to sign it, I imagine they would be impressed with the quality of the website, but they would likely wonder why bother with signing such a pledge?
“I mean, yes, I want to engage in life long learning, believe in a bold, inspiring vision of the future, bring people together, avoid nurturing confirmation bias, avoid things that promote an “us vs. them” mindset… but I kind of feel that the pledge is quite “motherhood & apple pie” – something I can support, but because it’s not really tied to a real life “project” of some sort, it feels a bit theoretical.”
But here’s the thing…
– Of course I believe that women deserve to be respected and treated equally – that’s like motherhood and apple pie – so why do I have to stand up publically for women’s rights?
– Of course I don’t condone cruelty to animals – what decent person would? – so why should I stop buying factory farmed meat? What difference would that make?
– Of course war is bad – everyone already knows that – so why should I publicly advocate for peace? It won’t change anything.
– Of course democracy is vital to my freedom – that’s widely understood – so why should I bother to vote? My single vote won’t swing the election.
– Of course we want to preserve old growth forests – they are a treasure to be sure – but why should I stand up against the logging companies that are trying to make a profit?
– Of course climate change is real – the science is proven and irrefutable – so why should I stop buying gas just to make a point. My driving a few less miles won’t fix the problem.
– Of course we want a better world for our children – that’s motherhood and apple pie – so I don’t have to sign a pledge to commit myself to that ideal.
Clearly one person making a public commitment to striving for a better world won’t change anything.
But what if everybody did?
Let’s explore that together…
Throughout human history the world we lived in did not change from our birth to our death. What we learned from our parents, we taught to our children. We didn’t have science to give us the ability to analyze the chemical components of a plant and determine its toxicity. We relied on the experience of others, passed down through the generations, for our survival.
But today, our world is a tempest of change. We long for stability but the earth is constantly moving under our feet. Most of what we learned from our parents seems quaint when we try to apply it to our own experience, let alone the prospects our children are facing. “Life is a river, and we’re in white water.”
We cling to what keeps us afloat, what we know, what we can understand, what seems stable. Our defenses to protect what we have are strong and entrenched. And by the time we have achieved some level of success, influence or power we have fortified these defenses and learned how to work the system to our advantage. Without realizing it, we’ve adopted a 2,000 year old proverb; “when in Rome do as the Romans do” as our credo.
And so, today more than at any other time in our history we rely on our selective perception, our cognitive biases, to protect us from the outside world. We shun ideas that challenge our current assumptions or world view. We choose not to engage for fear that some part of our construct will prove to be too fragile to withstand the scrutiny of reason. And inadvertently we reinforce the kind of thinking that has prevented societies around the globe from acting decisively to solve the challenges of our time.
It’s very hard to break this pattern. But our survival depends on it. This is the time to find the courage to act.

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