“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they
are easy, but because they are hard;…, because that challenge is one that we are
willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.”
JFK and Bobby Kennedy weren’t perfect men, but they were thinkers who supported pushing the boundaries in science and more. How do we compare the current crop of sad, desperate men leading much of the world today? They fear rejection rather than failure, they mistake power for achievement and their self-serving actions means it will be left to their children and grandchildren to fix the environmental and social problems created over the last half century.
The global disruption caused by COVID-19, in addition to the emergence of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion means a growing number of us are saying loud and clear to Prime Ministers, Presidents and Chairmen: “We have a problem”. But are we asking too much from a group that some academics have called “the pathetic generations”, while others have termed them “obsolete hardware”? Is this just one more piece of evidence that it time for a New 1%?
The New 1% is not a definition of wealth, power or celebrity. The New 1% are people of every generation prepared to take a stance and do something active to force a transition back to taking care of people and the planet, not only the economy. The New 1% refuse to get caught up in life’s noise and they recognise that writer Ed Abbey was right when he said, “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” The New 1% are people who consistently speak truth to power and challenge the status quo. They are people who don’t wait for the right moment or for that elusive period when they have ‘more time’, they are visibly active all the time.
Perhaps there is no better recent example than Greta Thunberg. The Swedish teenager sat alone at the Stockholm parliament building for the first time in August 2018, holding up a self-painted sign with the words School Strike for Climate. Just over 12 months later she was joined by more than 6 million people, across 185 countries, for the Global School Strike for Climate.