I was at work, this time promoting slavery-free chocolate at the streets of my hometown. We handed out free chocolate bars and told people about the company and its ethical mission. Our message was that we’re fighting against slavery and child labor that still widely exists in chocolate industries today, and the vision of this company is that someday all chocolate in the world would be ethically produced.
As we wandered around the city promoting the brand, most people were interested and encouraged us to keep going and fight the good fight. Then we came across one man, who very bluntly told me that we have a good message, but there’s no hope. We’re not gonna change anything by doing this. Our influence is very minimal and won’t do a thing. I kindly disagreed and offered him more information but he wouldn’t even listen, instead he proceeded with saying that all these companies say they do good, but the profits never reach the people they were supposed to help, they go into the pockets of the big bosses.
He told me this while smiling at me.
I wish I could say that I slammed him with some awesome facts and convinced him that change is possible. I didn’t. In fact I froze and was taken aback by his manners, which – I guess – satisfied him. Then I gathered myself and pointed out that if some companies lie to their customers, it doesn’t mean every company who’s at the same business does it. He still wouldn’t listen and only forced his opinions on me even more. I then realised it’s time to step back.
See, I’m not the type who gives up, I could easily debate for hours. However, one thing I’ve learned in this life is that if someone has decided to have a certain opinion about something, no fact can change that. No fact can get through their mind. Realising that made my whole life easier.
I do have a problem with that kind of attitude though and it’s sad that they think the world can’t be changed. There’s numerous examples from the history that have shown that one person can make a huge impact. Remember Rosa Parks? She wouldn’t give her seat to a white man in a bus in the 1950’s and was arrested. Her case sparked lots of protests against racism and she became well known human rights activist around the world. What an inspirational woman, huh!
Impossible is not a fact, it’s an opinion. A famous quote goes like this: the one who thinks they can, and the one who thinks they can’t, are both usually right. Let that sink in.
Sure it’s very rare that a big change happens overnight, and our intention wasn’t to change the world at one sitting anyway. But if just one of the people who listened to us and what we had to say, thinks about it and really wants to support the ethical way of producing chocolate, that’s enough. Maybe talks about it with others too. That’s all I’m hoping for. Then we have done something right. If we have changed the way they think about it, we have changed their world. One person who’s very passionate about something, really has great power to get other people moving too and speed up the change that way. They say there’s power in the crowd, but everything starts with one person.
You can change the world. You just got to have the right mindset.