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  • Writer's pictureMalvika Prasad

Opinions to Action

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Everyone has an opinion. Nobody shies away from sharing their views. From heated arguments to strongly worded Facebook status updates, we don’t hold back while voicing our opinions. We say we “care” for the society, we “care” for those in pain, we “care” for the environment but why don’t we take action? We complain about everything that is wrong with the world and yet we continue to sit and do nothing about it. What is the worth of our opinions then?

Complaining is our way of moving blame to anything other than ourselves. We share opinions and concerns but it doesn’t take long for the hypocrisy to reflect. We have all seen people opine about cleanliness, feel concern about the poor, and talk big about the world’s hunger problem but also seen them feel no shame in littering the same streets where the homeless and hungry sleep on, and not feel responsible towards the wasted food on their plates.

We live in a world where we believe our job ends at expressing our views, complaining about everything that’s wrong with this world and wait for someone else to take the action. How can every issue that we are supposedly concerned about be someone else’s problem to solve? We tend to dust our hands off of it because it is not our responsibility. Then whose is it?

If we are not taking any action, is this really concern that we are feeling? Are we only pretending to care? Are we finding excuses by believing that addressing these issues is beyond our reach? Do we feel like we can’t actually make a difference? Are we scared of standing against society by questioning social norms? What is it, really?

Yes, people express opinions and unlike what we may perceive, it is not always out of concern.

We often express opinions as a medium of establishing a conversation. Humans have a tendency to want to connect with other and expressing their opinions about anything is very likely to trigger conversation.

Many are outspoken about their views of the world in an attempt to avoid taking any action - the tendency is to shirk off responsibility. It is easier to avoid taking responsibility if we are outspoken because we are perceived to care.

We, humans, believe that we are the most superior species and as individuals we would do anything to make ourselves feel more superior to others. We often express views to undermine others so we can feel superior.

There may be cases when in reality, the concern exists but there are other factors that prevent us from taking that action.

Many people who fear failure hold back from taking action. The irony is that that we fail to realise that not taking an action itself is the failure. Not achieving something isn’t failure, the lack of action is the real failure. Fear may not only be restricted to failure but it may also be a matter of belongingness. We may fear rejection from society if we stand up for something that may be harming the world but is not socially acceptable.

All this in fact is all part of an image we have of ourselves. In reality, if we connect with life and not just individuals, be responsible towards the world and not just our near and dear, stop giving ourselves this false sense of superiority, stop letting our actions be guided but fear, our concerns will naturally transform into action. There isn’t a process or a guide to converting opinions to action.

There are people out there who have made a difference. Be it on a big scale or small, sustainable or not; individuals and companies across the globe have come through and changed the way things were. Lilly Ledbetter stood up against societal norms and fought for equal pay for women. MobileWorks helps unemployed workers link to short duration jobs in the United States. Re:char helps farmers in East Africa fight climate change and grow more food. These are just a small fraction of people who have made a difference.

There is no difference between us and them - except that while we sit and talk, they transform the world.

-Malvika Prasad

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