Although traditionally I have thought of myself as somewhat of an optimist, believing change is possible, I admit that over the past few months my interactions with those around me, the global temperament which appears to value violence and revenge more than hope and development, and the general laziness of the western community when it comes to availing themselves of the opportunity to become educated have taken their role on my ability to, and willingness to engage on these topics. I tire of having the same conversations over and over with people who are too lazy or too self indulgent to look outside of their own comfortable little world to learn how the world works… Which, on the whole is not like me. I am generally happy to be a source of information especially on topics where the sharing of information assists others (be that in the promotion of their human rights, their protection or some other type of advocacy).
I don’t believe the world has gotten nastier of late, and I don’t think people have gotten more heartless….. I wonder if I have become fatigued? This is something I have been thinking about over the last few days….if I am in fact burnt out (which is a positive spin on Josie becoming too old and tired lol) can I bounce back and go back onto my path of positive information sharing?
When people ask me how they can help change the world, and about the things they can do to generate positive change I tell them the following:
(1) be kind. Always. It doesn’t matter who you are and who you interact with. It doesn’t matter what religion you are or aren’t – being nice is easy, costs nothing and generally makes the world better for our kids whether we understand politics, economics or social development or not.
(2) do not believe anything you hear on A Current Affairs or any other mainstream “infotainment” media outlet. Everyone report has an agenda. Our Government has an agenda (this is money and power related always and has nothing to do with a desire to keep us safe, it is all to do with keeping their bank accounts safe). Always look for the other side of a story, always apply common sense. Always.
(3) get educated. You live in Australia. We have libraries. We have Internet. We have experts. There is no excuse for people not to know the difference between a burqa and a hijab. There is no excuse for people to confuse a Sikh with a Muslim. There is no excuse for people to fail to understand that the international business deals we benefit from in Australia have a direct follow on affect on international conditions including war, refugee flows and human rights protections/violations (More cobalt for your phone anyone? Fresh from Congo, only cost the rape of two women and the lives of three children in the mines.)
(4) once you know what you are talking about and trying to achieve apply kindness to your existing skills and use them for the betterment of other people. Writers, teachers, mechanics, engineers, local council members, parents, priests, customer service representatives….anyone who works with people can spread a message which can change the world. Education changes everything at every level. Singers can sing of change and writers can write about it. Those with practical skills can use these to assist those who cannot assist themselves. We need doctors, mechanics, nurses, engineers in areas where there are none. Every parent in the world has the obligation and ability to educate their children and their children’s teachers and their children’s communities about creating a more just world. Fed, safe and happy people do not make bombs – anywhere. And we can start he education here.
(5) self care. Look after yourself – if you are burnt out, you can’t do what you need to do to change the world. Balance in life is important – we all need to laugh so we do not stop and cry…. Then we can change the world.
I intend to start the week taking my own advice.
Can you do the same?