To Create Positive Change, Be a Campfire not a Forest Fire

Zoe Weil is a blogger for Psychology Today (PT), and twice a month we share her blog posts here. Enjoy!

There’s a metaphor I like to use when talking to fellow activists and solutionaries. I ask them to imagine two fires.

The first is a campfire. The fire is warm and bright, and people are drawn toward it. Their beautiful faces glow in the reflected light. There is nowhere they’d rather be.

Now picture too much fuel added to this fire. A spark flies igniting a tree. The fire begins to burn out of control, turning from a campfire into a forest fire. It is difficult to breathe, and everyone flees, desperate to escape.

What can we learn from these two images of fire?

We each have a fire inside of us. It is the fire of our passions and our beliefs, and those of us who are driven to be activists and solutionaries know it well.

It is the fire that spurs us to learn about what is happening on our planet — to people, animals, and the environment — and it is the fire that motivates us to challenge the atrocities that still exist in our world and solve the crises we face.

psychology today