OK, they're not easy, and there's probably more than 20 steps, but the real story won't sell magazines. Now that you've gotten this far, read on if you still want to know how to change the world.
Why go here? Blogfish started something with comments on Carl Safina's conservation outreach to evangelical Christians. As a result, blogfish is now challenged on how to change the world. So here goes.
First note that we're talking big changes. It's not enough to get everyone to switch from green shoelaces to blue, we're talking big changes like the color of shoes. Maybe even shoes AND socks.
I think there are ways to try to change the world that have a better chance of success, and other ways that have a poor chance of success. What's the difference? I think a strategy with the essential focus of tearing something down is unlikely to make big gains. In contrast, a strategy that has the essential focus of building something has a better chance of making big gains.
I think people often try to change the world by tearing down a society that isn't what they like, and remake it in their image. That's got a building aspect, but it's mostly about tearing down our current culture and world, and in my view it won't work. Because people recognize the essential focus on tearing something down and don't like it.
In contrast, I think the right way to try to change the world is to try to build something better than we have now, without the need to tear down so much of what we have now. It will shine through to people as a gain, a benefit, and something worthy of the noble goals being pursued.
Hmmm...this violates all the rules of good blogging, where's the story here? OK, let's try an illustration.
Suppose you're living in a lousy house. Somebody comes along and says you should really tear that down and start over, and it'll take 2 years to finish. You ask what happens when it snows next winter and you're told, you'll shiver and suffer, but ultimately you'll be glad. I think the answer is mostly no thanks, we'll keep what we have.
Now suppose someone else comes along and offers to help you rebuild your lousy house without tearing the whole thing down. You may have some gaps and holes during rebuilding, but you'll never have to stand out in the cold. And...it'll always look like progress in the right direction. That's a much more attractive project.
So if you want to change the world, craft a plan that feels more like progress than steps backwards. Otherwise, you have the hard sell of convincing people to suffer. And who's going to say yeah, send some of that my way?