Look up the definition “thick skin” and you will find Greta, that the activist who began using a one-person “School Strike for Climate” external parliament in her native Sweden and within a year has been leading a worldwide youth movement. At 16 years old, she spent 2 weeks traveling by ship round the Atlantic Ocean into New York to raise awareness about climate change and in no uncertain terms need the so-called adults accountable begin taking the matter seriously.
But her intrepidness and admirable sense of purpose did not just bring in her a speaking slot in the United Nations, a look on The Daily Show, a meeting Barack Obama, and finally the cover TIME since the magazine 2019 Person of those Year. She also became a lightning rod for controversy and also a goal for online bullying by those who simply did not need to hear it–particularly from a child, they promised.
“It’s a lot of hate, of course, and conspiracy theories, and mocking me,” Greta told the Washington Post in September 2019. “I don’t really take it personal, because I know they are just so desperate, trying to find something to make me look bad. Because if I look bad, the climate movement will look bad. It’s sad to see all these people spending their time doing something like this when they could be doing some good instead.”
Millie Bobbie Brown told Glamour UK of her fellow teen, “She’s so brave to speak to politicians and say, ‘time has run out,’ and they have to listen. I love the power—the girl power. She’s so young and yet so brave.”
Greta’s parents had been worried that she had been too young to be the face of a motion, but they found that taking action was not the one thing producing their daughter joyful following her descent into a depression over the country of earth.
Now 17, she continues to live life on her terms. While Gradually social-distancing last calendar year, Sweden not having enforced an official lockdown, she caught up on schoolwork following her yearlong sabbatical, along with a BBC video revealed her doing ordinary things like playing along with her puppy, doing a jigsaw puzzle and watering plants. And, naturally, she kept up with information from around the globe.
“It feels like we have passed some kind of social tipping point,” that she told the BBC, “where people are starting to realize that we cannot keep looking away from these things, we cannot keep sweeping these things under the carpet, these injustices.”