“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Ghandi
If you want to change the world, start with yourself.
Everyone on this planet has a right to the same as everyone else. We are all born equal, and whatever happens in our lives, we remain equal.
Everyone should have access to healthcare, and education, everyone should be allowed to fall in love with (and marry) who they choose. Everyone should have equal access to employment and be allowed to vote. Everyone should be able to leave their house in safety, and not in fear that they may be harmed because of prejudices against them. No-one should be viewed as any less because of their race, religion, wealth, background, gender or sexuality.
I often look to world on a global scale and feel helpless, I don’t have much money to donate to causes (I give what I can) and feel my voice is so small against the world that it will never be heard. So I look to the above quote. Be the change I want to see. What does that mean? How do I do that?
I’m not sure. I’m trying. These are some things I think help.
Inform yourself. As a citizen of the planet, and as a member of the human race, it is your responsibility to inform yourself of what’s happening in your world. Understand why people are fighting, what they’re fighting for. Understand the political situations of other countries and your own. Ignorance is our greatest enemy and hindrance, so inform yourself.
Talk about things. When you see things in the world that are unfair, or unjust shout about them. Be angry! By voicing these you can help inform others of what is happening on their planet. Write letters, sign petitions. It nearly always feels futile, but it’s a tiny shove, that may just create the tiniest fracture in the infrastructure of the inequality.
We can pull people up on things homophobia, misogyny whatever we encounter in our daily lives, by challenging people on their views, rather than saying nothing (easier, but not useful.) We can also be honest about our own lives, and the inequalities we’ve encountered. I am getting better at this and still find it hard.
By the time you are old enough to read this blog (I think, apart from the fairytales, 13 will be a good age for this) it will be 73 years since racial segregation was ruled illegal in the US and it will be 63 years since the civil rights law was passed in the US which outlawed any discrimination against an individual based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It will be 59 years since Martin Luther King Jr was murdered; an astonishing man, he was an activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American civil rights movement. (Inform yourself.)
It will be 97 years since all women (over 21) gained the right to vote in Britain and 114 years since the suffragette Emily Davidson gave her life in the fight for votes for women. (Inform yourself.)
When you are thirteen years old it will be 33 years since apartheid ended in South Africa. It will be 37 years since Nelson Mandela was freed from prison. He was the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who following his imprisonment, went on to become President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. (Inform yourself.)
By the time you are thirteen equal marriage in the UK will have been legal for thirteen years, and hopefully marriage between same sex couples will no longer be new or different, but will just be a normal thing, that no one ever really thinks about (unless their planning their wedding. Hoping one day, one day this might be me. Not sure who I’ll marry yet. I haven’t yet met them I don’t think.)
These are just three stories of how the world changed because people, individuals just like us, stood up together to change it. There is still along way to go, but look how far we’ve come. It’s a fight worth fighting and you can fight for equality in both your life, and in the lives of others.
You don’t have to become a politician or a revolutionary to make a change. You may be a bio mechanical engineer, a primary school teacher, or a gardener, an architect or a cafe manager, whoever you are, you can do something. Sometimes it seems futile, but with each little push, we get a tiny bit closer to equality, for all, in everything. We can all do this. Yes, you too Lottie.
“In the slip of a bolt, there’s a tiny revolt.
The seeds of a war in the creak of a floorboard.
A storm can begin, with the flap of a wing.
The tiniest mite packs the mightiest sting!
Every day, starts with the tick of a clock.
All escapes, starts with the click of a lock!”
-Matilda, the musical