COVID-19, with its devastating impacts, rewrites the world’s history. However, inspirations for betterment of the world exist even in the worst of situations.
When it comes to changes the pandemic has brought upon the world, young climate activist Lance Lau remarked with full confidence, “Vaccines may be the solution to the pandemic. But I hope the calamity could also act as a wake-up call that there are problems that can’t be tackled by merely giving shots – namely global warming. But if we bring together individual power to address this environmental issue, however small it may be, I’m sure we are able to change the world!”
As global warming is looming, how does Lance hold on to such a positive belief? What should we learn from the pandemic experience to create a better future?
Be optimistic, positive and confident
Speaking of COVID-19’s impact on our daily lives, many would complain about the inconvenience that the new normal has brought about – wearing masks, adhering to social distancing, lock-downs, no travelling and dine-out restrictions. Lance, on the contrary, focuses on something else.
He dedicates himself to alerting the public about the harm of global warming. “The pandemic has spread out of control over a short period of time and we all wanted a solution. Different countries raced to develop vaccines in hope that the world could return to normal as soon as possible. But at the same time, the consequences of global warming are emerging and no one seems to care simply because we are not suffering from it just yet. Let’s keep in mind that a mere shot wouldn’t save the coastal areas from floods caused by risen sea levels.”
Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches – many people are unconcerned about what Lance believes to be of great urgency. Instead of feeling discouraged, Lance, thinks it is actually the right time to ask people for immediate action against global warming riding on the heightened awareness and concerns on global issues. “The major takeaway from the pandemic is how people should prepare themselves when facing crises. And more importantly, how everyone could become a ‘better me’ and create a better future.”
How to become a BetterMe?
We all have our ways to live better and be more happier, enjoying a BetterMe, a BetterLife or even a BetterWorld. Our preteen Lance is no exception and has a winning formula to follow.
If we want a better world and a better life, Lance believes we have to face our own shortcomings and the reality, “You cannot accept that it’s a cruel world out there, and it’s even more painful to make changes to it. But you have to make yourself be aware of issues like global warming. Once you face up to the issue, you’ll start to get prepared and take the first step to change.”
“No one is too small to make a difference”, he always emphasises. No matter how much doubts there lies, we can rewrite the future for ourselves and the world by taking a step forward, even if it’s a small one, as long as we believe in our power to become a BetterMe.
Thus, Lance stays the course despite there are still people who deny global warming is as urgent a problem as COVID-19. He strongly believes that an ordinary student like him can make a change – he initiated the on-campus petition FridayforFuture 2 years ago which invited many of his fellow schoolmates and their parents to share information on global warming. In addition, he has been doing his best to change people’s lifestyles with his limited power, paving the way for a better world.
Be flexible to make green cool
Lance admits that it’s not easy to change people. During the pandemic, many refuse to cut down on disposable tableware for takeaways, not to mention developing a habit to say no to disposable tableware. Some even see environmentalists as stubborn radicals whose mission is to disrupt their current lifestyles, giving almost no chance to nurture the idea of environmental protection.
However, Lance always looks on the bright side and has been flexible to overcome challenges with his philosophy of environmental protection. Taking the first step to changing could be tougher than we think, especially when it comes to global warming. He has been racking his brains to make this topic more approachable and popular - he labels himself a flexitarian, meaning he would go vegetarian as much as possible but wouldn’t say no to meats completely. By doing so, he can keep a balanced intake of nutrients while reducing carbon emissions. More importantly, this is an easier way to persuade people to try vegetarian food for the first time.
Besides, he wants to tell people that going green is not old-school at all. Contrary to popular belief, it is pretty cool. One example is that many posh restaurants did not offer vegetarian options. But the situation has changed as times change. Going green has become a fashion.
He explained, “A restaurant may think nothing of one customer asking for a vegetarian menu. But when more and more customers ask for it, it will create a force that they simply can’t ignore.” Nowadays, many restaurants including Michelin-starred eateries offer vegetarian menus. Some even go the extra mile to replace disposable products with food, for example, making spaghetti into straws. When we ‘make green cool’, people are more willing to accept and be part of it. This also explains why Lance has taken on a second role as ‘food critic’ which allows him to advocate the ‘Go Green’ food culture in a more relaxing way and to promote environmental protection!
The pandemic may not be have made everyone be aware of the other crises on earth. But if we hold a positive attitude, stay optimistic and self-confident, we can always find a better way out and make this world a better place to live in.
Click here to check out more about Lance's story and AXA's commitment to combatting climate change!
The above content is reviewed by Ms. Andrea Wong, Chief Marketing & Customer Officer of AXA Hong Kong and Macau
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