Be the change you want to see in the world!(Mahatma Ghandi)
I think I speak for us all when I say that we want change. We want a better tomorrow than yesterday and we all hope that some how, some where our endless efforts make a lasting difference. So then I ask, what is it that makes us a change maker?
First and foremost, to be a change maker you need to be dissatisfied with how things presently are, whether it is in your home, your community, your work place or the world at large. You need the aspiration, the will and the drive for something to be different than the status quo. To get this aspiration, either you have been exposed to something better in comparison to what is now, or you have developed new innovative ideas that do the same thing better or ideas that can serve as an answer to the problems around you.
When selected as a global change maker by the British Council in July 2012, I was initially puzzled by what this role entailed. Would I have to be super woman and immediately solve all our problems? Would I have to alter my current lifestyle and be a workaholic devoted to a cause? Would I have to stand out amongst my peers? Taking part in the Euro-African Youth Summit held in Brussels along with 59 other change makers I came to realize the true essence of being a change maker.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed until it is faced” James Baldwin
Being a change maker is about engaging with the world, it’s a lifestyle where you are proactive. You see a need and find some way of fulfilling it. As a change maker you are active rather than passive. This means you don’t accept the status quo, and you don’t just complain about problems around you or talk of the hardships you face; but rather you get up and do something about it. This does not necessarily mean that you must do everything to achieve change, but rather it’s the knowledge that you have your own part to play, that you must at least do something. This involves taking risks, challenging yourself; challenging your mindset, your beliefs, your life style and stepping out of your comfort zone.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive,
nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin
It’s the effort that counts. As a change maker you can lead a global campaign or simply bring a smile to someone’s face. At the end of the day you have brought about a change, you have benefited someone’s life. We must however go beyond the traditional thought of simply reaching out to the masses and changing their lives. The value add of being a change maker is the ability to inspire people to be their own change agents. As a leader, your role is to empower, and harness the potential and talent that is inherent in all of us.
“When it becomes more difficult to suffer than change — then you will change”
A change maker is relentless. As a strong willed and strong minded person, you pave the road towards necessary changes regardless of the obstacles, hurdles and challenges you face. You never give up. Your eye is on the bigger picture, and you know this will take patience to achieve. Remember that a journey begins with a single step- Change is slow, but has lasting impact.
So now you ask yourself. Are you the change you want to see in the world? Are you a change maker?