That’s a quote from a recent Margaret Atwood interview. She then went on to propose a qualifier to that famous Margaret Mead quote. You know the one “Never doubt that a small group of people…”
Here is Ms. Atwood’s proviso:
A large, small group of people.
And her reasoning:
I think a small group of people could certainly change it for the worst pretty quickly, and it’s changing it for the better that is often so difficult… especially since your idea of better might be someone else’s idea of worse.
Makes you think of the current competing ideological landscape, doesn’t it?
Groups are not benign. They have the potential for both good and evil. Groups exist to promote racism, sexism, fundamentalism and exclusion as well as their opposites.
Evil is not one person. It is a process of normalizing thinking and behavior. It casts a wide net, ensnaring decent people.
Think about how many of us are dissatisfied with the same things, despite our political and ideological differences and the difference in our methods and solutions.
A larger small group increases the likelihood of counterbalancing the ideologues, the demagogues, the hotheads, and the righteous. Of reconciling our differences. Of tempering malice and cynicism. Of demonstrating the better angels of our nature.
Hooking up with a few others and forming a small group is a good first step. Hooking our small groups up with each other is important too.
I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race – and that we are all members of it. (Margaret Atwood)
Musical accompaniment this post is Ukiuq from the ‘one-of-a-kind’ Jerry Cans from Iqaluit. Infectious blend of musical genres underlaid with Inuk throat singing. Delightful. The link will get you to several of their new songs. Don’t forget to purchase.