I am going to do something with this post that I don’t often do and that is to give you a major portions of an article from Psychology Today magazine about Greta Thunberg. She is one amazing young woman.
Here is what I want you to know today. I will add some brief words of my own at the end of the post
In just one year, Greta has galvanized hundreds of millions of people. She has been written about and/or interviewed by virtually every major English-speaking news outlet. Her TED talk has been viewed almost 3.5 million times and translated into 32 languages. She inspired millions of young people to participate in the Global Climate Strike and walk out of school on September 20. Then, the following week, she spoke to the U.S. Congress and the U.N. General Assembly.
- Greta is artless. She is not driven by a desire for fame and has no interest in being an icon. She does not seek to be believed. She is simply, and ferociously, asking that we study the science and heed it.
- Greta is simultaneously soft- and slow-spoken, utterly candid, and intensely passionate, which makes her deeply compelling to listen to. We are brought to our knees by the blunt truth of her words, and we feel the power of her emotions, which are contagious and spur action.
- Greta is heroic, and her integrity is her superpower. She is vegan. She won’t fly. She puts the planet first. In her intense stare, we cannot help but look inward, examine ourselves, and hear the call to do better.
- Greta is unique. Her Asperger’s translates into “you get what you see,” which is (as systems thinkers sometimes point out in relation to seemingly thorny problems) complex but not complicated. She is at once so angry and frustrated, so brilliant and capable, so honest and authentic, so dedicated and motivated, so deeply, fully humane. Those qualities don’t often show up together in a single human being.
- Greta is disarming and demanding in equal measure. She disarms us by stating that we shouldn’t listen to her, but rather to the science, and then demands with vehemence that we do just that.
- Greta is calling for political action, but not endorsing any particular politics. The only “side” she is taking is the side of the planet and its future generations. This invites everyone – even her detractors – to hear her voice as a personal call to embrace reality, which is not easily dismissable.
- Greta is young, and looks younger. We adults are rightly being reprimanded by a child who is facing the potential degradation of the world in her lifetime. She is the voice of all youth crying out to be loved and respected in the most fundamental way—by safeguarding their future.
Who could imagine someone sixteen-going-on-seventeen could have such an impact of the world. She is certainly doing a lot to bring attention to global warming, but she is also showing the world that those who have Aspie traits are not defective. It’s just a unique way of viewing the world. Thanks Greta, for bringing both things to center stage in the world.