We don’t need to have all six billion of us living like environmental saints tomorrow–or ever, for that matter. To take such a thing as our objective would merely assure failure…. We simply can’t, as Gorbachev suggests, wait for ‘all members of the world community’ to ‘resolutely discard old stereotypes.’… These are will-o-the-wisps, vain expectations that keep us rooted in hopelessness, year after year, decade after decade….
Because we don’t expected to overthrow governments, abolish world capitalism, make civilization vanish, or turn everyone in the world into walking buddhas, we don’t have to wait for ANYTHING. But I have to warn you that many people will tell you the opposite, that we have to wait until we have a world that is ALREADY perfect. They feel absolutely nothing should happen until we’ve banished social inequality, racism, sexism, poverty, and every other bad thing you can think of….
People who think like this would wait for the cut to heal before applying a bandage, would wait till daybreak to light a candle, would wait for the sinking ship to rise before getting in the lifeboat.
Daniel Quinn, Beyond Civilization