Why are you waiting for permission?

Why are you waiting for permission?

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Two and a half months ago we launched The Dandelion Project in Guernsey to make Guernsey the best place to live on earth by 2020. What has surprised me most since then is realising that one small thing can hold the world back more than anything else.

It is the need for permission.

We have been blown away by the number of projects started by members of our community. The interesting thing is that these ideas for improving our community have always been within people. They say, ‘I’ve always thought we needed…’ or, ‘I’ve been thinking for years, if we could just…’ Then they reveal ideal solutions. And to me, this is unexpected and quite crazy to think about.

The answers to all of humanity’s problems already lie within our collective minds. The barrier is our waiting for permission to do it. It seems that creating a better planet for all of us is much easier than we think.

For some reason, we have built a society educated into conformity, not rocking the boat. The entire planet is being held back by this. People are literally dying in the world because people who have the solutions to our problems are waiting for permission. Yet this obstacle is so easy to remove.

At The Dandelion Project we have a simple rule: you don’t need permission to improve where you live. Just get on with it. There’s always the option to apologise if things don’t go quite as planned. Our primary role as a community impact organisation has been giving people permission to do what they already want to do. And we are seeing incredible results from this.

The truth is that you do not need permission to change the world. You do not need permission to do what you have always wanted to do.

The people who do great things in the world give themselves permission to do it. To break new ground, in most cases it is not advisable to even ask. Human nature is generally a protector of the status quo. Progress requires change and action.

So, what is it that you have always been wanting to do?

Why on earth are you waiting?

If you feel that you need permission to do something you have always wanted to do, then be reassured: you have my permission.  Even though you don’t actually need it!



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  1. Marc,

    This is so true. Often all we do is complain and point the finger at other leaders faults and issues in leading change in our community and country. I have seen in most communities we live a set of expectations and rules set up that are unspoken but often enforced by people when you step out. People complain they are lonely that they don’t know people but so many times they never take a step to change that they don’t eyeball their neighbours invite them over for a beer or drop in a meal when they are sick. My wife is awesome at the opposite and she changes culture where ever we have lived doing the opposite she invites us over to peoples places takes meals to stranger when they are sick. Organises outings and invites all not just the people we get along with. Being a change agent is more about action and less about asking for permission. I encourage people to take today and see how you can do something starting where you live to forge a new community! Thx Marc for the reminder.

  2. We can thank Marc and others for encouraging us to forge ahead and do good things and bring about positive changes in our communities.
    As Paul enthuses, it also about reaching out, and indeed doing good, sometimes with surprising results.

    Doing good things for others, for our communities, also brings out the good in us, and indeed in others; it can be and is catching.

    Of course we don’t need permission for doing so many of these initiatives.

    The really clever person accepts that there are boundaries, hurdles to overcome, where more will be achieved, when sometimes the means to move forward means actually getting permission.
    It is having the recognition , the courage and the intelligence, to easily walk through the “permission” barrier, when it come up. This might be there for originally sound legal reasons, to protect others, or other logical reasons. It is being able to recognise that such a barrier can be overcome through a combination of sensible argument and determination to do good.
    But it can never be assumed that an individual or group’s desire to do good,is always right.

    It may be morally right, the motivation may be there, but there is always the possibility that there is a better way to bring about change.
    That is exactly why, when we want to do good, we have to have regard for the voices and rights of others, and always seek improvement by consensus across our society.
    That means believing in, and participating in our democratic system and values.
    It means accepting that change is not just something we as individuals or as groups contribute to, we need to go the extra mile and accept our role as citizens and be part of and improve our democratic processes. It is the government of our communities, our society as a whole, which can only be fully changed by involvement of our politicians, influencing them, and even becoming them.

    The more these things are thought upon, and positive actions considered, the more more benefit our communities will accumulate.

    • Hi Tony,

      I am not sure that our system is that democratic. Most people don’t vote and don’t have a say in their day to day decision making.

      I also have a view that politics in its current form is not necessary. It was designed in an era where transport was by horse. The notion of representation when we are more than capable of representing ourselves is rediculous in my eyes. Using the argument that people are not capable of making their own decisions vastly underestimates human capacity to step up to new challenge.

      One must recognise that Turkeys will not vote for Christmas so it is the role and responsibility of community to design and develop the systems by which it is governed. If that means replacing what is existing without permission then so be it.

      With technology available now communities are more than capable of self governing and I make no apology for giving community more options than the current system.

      Ultimately the community will decide when given the options not politicians or government.

      The Dandelion Project will provide those options in Guernsey. We don’t actually need permission to do that.


  3. Hi,

    Good article and agreed!!!! I also believe that its not only society / community but whereever you are there requires NO PERMISSION provided your attitude and act is +ve. If your intentions are +ve for the humanity no matter community say about you / your actions…

    Devendra Kurumbhati

  4. David Byers says

    Serious intent here Marc but deeply flawed.

    Without rigourous checks and balances, adventures can be either (1) Illegal; (2) damaging to others; (3) have unknown effects on the environment and (4) harm others, socially, psychologically or financially.

  5. Hmm iis anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on thhis blog
    loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

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