Be the change you want to see in the world
"Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed until it is faced"
I've been drawn to the wise words of James Baldwin this morning. In these times when once again we are reminded that racism and racist behaviour never really went away, I find it comforting to look back to those classic changemakers who so fearlessly stepped into their role as influencers of social change.
They were able to talk to all us as a human race, irrespective of background, about the system, our roles in it and to shine a light on ways forward. It takes a phenomenal strength of character to be able to step out of your own history, question your own narrative and those around you, find freedom from it, despite your environment, and then to try influence and inspire change in others. James, I salute you.
I think there is so much we can all learn from our passive role in allowing a system to continue to exist. Whether we created it or not, we can change how we talk about it, how we behave in it and we can actively play a role to change it. It all adds up to make a difference.
If COVID has taught us anything, it should be that we are all one, all inter-connected and that this is the time to fully step into our role as citizens of the world with a responsibility and an opportunity to create the kind of life and future we want for ourselves and our communities.
Of course, we are all focused on our immediate experience - our work, our relationships, our families, finances, quality of life, the things we can't have, etc. But when we are able to think bigger, when we think about the kind of impact we want to have in the world, the sort of legacy we want to leave behind, the kind of role model or leader we hope to be, then it is a time to find the courage to not only think differently but behave and act differently too.
These things always start with difficult questions and some uncomfortable truths. But what awaits on the other side is really worth it.