Change Yourself First
How many of us have wished that we could be a part of a movement to bring about positive change? How many of us have been silent observers, sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone else to step up and make a difference? Change is constant. It rears its ugly head at unexpected times and in strange places. But if you’re hoping to see positive change in your world, then here are some changemakers you should listen to:
Be the change that you wish to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Change Starts With You
In order to bring about change, you need to make the decision to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. This can be as simple as trying vegan food for a week or taking up a sport. It doesn’t matter what you decide to try, what matters is that you’re putting yourself out there and accepting that you might make mistakes along the way. If you don’t try new things, you’ll never experience the joy of success and you might miss out on your chance to make a real difference in the world. Your choices today can either lead you down the path of staying stuck in your comfort zone or taking the leap into new territory.
Be a mentor
Mentors are a valuable part of any social movement. They’re there to help you get started, offer advice, and support you as you learn to navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with social change. If you’re looking for a mentor, be sure to seek out someone who is already making a difference in the world. Many organizations have social entrepreneurs who are happy to mentor new members and volunteers. This can be a great way to gain experience and meet fellow changemakers. You can also create a mentorship network with other changemakers and help each other navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with social change.
Advocate for your beliefs
Your beliefs don’t belong to you alone. They belong to everyone who shares them. If someone is promoting harmful stereotypes, be sure to speak up. It may be uncomfortable at first, but the more people stand up against harmful messages, the more we can begin to address the underlying issues. The most significant social change is achieved when individuals become aware of their own power and use that power to make positive changes in the world.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
As a young person, you have a unique perspective on the world. You’re still discovering your values, and you’re still discovering your voice. Use your voice for good. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or helpless when you see harmful messages or stereotypes being promoted in the world. You might feel that you have nothing to say in response, or you might feel like you have to choose between staying silent or being politically correct.
Be prepared for the unexpected
If possible, try to immerse yourself in cultures other than your own. When you experience other people’s realities through someone else’s eyes, you’re more likely to understand, rather than judge, the people who live there.
Be respectful of others' cultures and beliefs
Changemakers should be aware of the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange. Cultural appropriation refers to the adoption of aspects of one culture by members of another without any acknowledgment of the original culture. This can often lead to misusing aspects of another culture without understanding them. Cultural exchange is when people from different cultures meet and learn from each other by sharing their own experiences and knowledge.
When you get the chance, help others
Being a changemaker doesn’t always mean that you have to start an organization from scratch. It might be more effective to reach out to an existing organization and offer your support for a particular cause. If you see an chance to help others, take it. It doesn’t matter if it’s small or large, it could be the stepping stone to making a real difference in the world. But be careful not to get lost in the minutiae of your chosen cause. Make sure that your efforts are focused on helping others, and not on promoting your own beliefs.
Thank You for Reading