So many options for this week’s article and it was a toss-up between Greta Thunberg’s speech at the UN, Boris Johnson’s unlawful ‘cancelling’ of Parliament in the UK, impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, or Scott Morrison’s absence from the UN climate summit.
Then I realised that all 4 are all connected – especially in relation to my understanding of the primary message of Jesus in the Gospels.
Together they symbolise how power can be abused and how it can be used. How those in powerful positions enable political interests and self-interests to dictate behaviour, and how one person with hardly any power can bring about change.
I suspect that many of us are familiar with the Greta Thunberg story and how in recent months she has been belittled by media ‘heavy-weights’ like Andrew Bolt and diminished in other parts of the global media for being autistic, gullible and young. Her speech at the UN was even mocked by the President of the USA.
But I know fear when I smell it, and they are frightened of her power. And, they should be. The same kinds of powerful forces were also afraid of Jesus. The truth is so often very hard to handle.
The first time that I read what we have come to know as the sermon on the plain ( The Beatitudes), I cried. The power of its simplicity held me in its grasp. When I watched Greta’s speech at the UN, I had a similar experience. I cried. And, I cried for 3 reasons in particular.
- One, hearing the eloquent passion and conviction with which she challenged the leaders of many nations (not ours sadly). Speaking truth to power always moves me. What a warrior. “You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you”.
- Two, witnessing the courage and confidence of a teenager. A young female who claims her autism as a super-power. You just have to love the tenacity of that approach.
- Three, I cried because I was watching the inspiration behind the biggest global protest in world history. I was witnessing a pivotal moment in the Climate Change story. A moment full of momentum in which ‘no’ is turning into ‘yes’.
When she said, ”How dare you come to young people for hope”, she was right. We cannot leave it to them to fix the mess we have made and from which we have benefitted; sometimes unwittingly. However, she and her generation of protestors, have given me more hope than I could have hoped for. She has lit a candle in the darkness for many who were in the grip of despair. Thank you Greta Thunberg for what can only be described as an awakening.