Our work trying to influence minds and actions — on everything from social justice to environmental concerns to human rights and equality — can feel like we are pushing boulders uphill. And we are.
But there’s good news at the top of that hill. Once you get the boulder to a certain point, it looks like widespread acceptance of that issue happens relatively quickly.
According to this cool, interactive infographic from Bloomberg, social change in the U.S. follows a pattern. A few pioneer states get out front, then a key event like a court decision or grassroots campaign triggers a rush of state activity that leads to a change in federal law.
Check out how this played out for interracial marriage, prohibition, women’s suffrage, abortion rights, same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana.
They found that the number of years from an issues “trigger event” to federal action was on average 10 years.
When the going feels hopeless, remember, you’re part of this large constellation of social change. It has happened and it will happen.