Tuesday, April 26, 2011

If I could change the world...

Be the change you want to see in the world 

Mahatma Gandhi

BlogThis asked us: If you were boss of the world, what is one thing you would change? Just one.

***I'm sorry if you've read this already, I made a couple of little changes. Oh, ans sorry about the weird formatting issues. No idea what's going on there...

One thing? Oh come on! (as Oli would say).

Maybe it's the way I think, but I can't think of just one thing that would make that much difference.
And it's not that I haven't thought about it. In fact, I've thought about it a lot.

In my early 20s, not long after I had Sam, I discovered that I had a bit of an idealist streak. During that time, I actually thought I could change the world, or at least my little part of it. Despite my status as a full time working mum, I did what I could: I went to a couple of protests, talked a blue streak to anyone who would listen, and wrote lots and lots of letters: to the paper, to politicians, even to celebrities.

One of those celebrity letters actually had a positive outcome. There was a TV show in the early 90s called 'Recovery'. It was a Saturday morning 'youth' show, with music and other stuff, and it was hosted by the underrated Dylan Lewis. I thought he was pretty cool and wrote him a letter about youth-type issues and my hope to get young people motivated to do something about 'all the problems in the world'. He wrote back a couple of times and was very supportive, reaffirming my belief that not all celebrities are selfish pratts. He was encouraging, and sympathised with my 'struggle', and very down to earth.
Sadly, nothing really came of it. Still, it was nice to have a response.

For a brief period, I also had lots and lots of letters published in our local newspaper. I was one of those serial letter writers, going on and on about everything from violent movies (and how they didn't make people violent) to politician's salaries. I even managed to stir up the letter writing pot once or twice.
It was through the letters column that I realised that there were lots of people who didn't share my opinions or values, and lots more that just didn't give a hoot.

After a while, I realised that no one was really paying attention, and that I wasn't really having that much of an impact. Being the sunny-side-up kid that I was am, it kind of got me down, and eventually I turned my energy to other stuff (like going to uni). I must admit, I haven't written a political type letter since.

Looking back, these were very different times, before the internet, blogging and instant communication, which I think has certainly helped some well-meaning (and some not so well-meaning) people make little changes in the world. But I'm not going to dwell on the fact that I didn't save humanity...

It's not that I've stopped caring. I still do my little bit. I recycle, I grow my own fruit and vegies (as much as I can), I walk where I can (instead of driving), I treat others as I would want to be treated, etc. I know it's probably not as meaningful as mobilising a whole community to action, but it's my contribution. And you never know...I'm still young...

But to answer BlogThis' question:

If I was the boss of the world, I guess that might be what I would change. I would demand that ask everyone to pay attention to their own little part of the world. To clean up their own back yard, so to speak. I would mandate it that people were empathetic, ethical, kind, generous, friendly, environmentally responsible and tolerant. Just of the people in their community would be a start. Perhaps if we started small, we'd see big changes.

What would you do?

Just after I posted this, this song came on shuffle on my iTunes. Is it a sign??? 

Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There's no way we ever could

Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It's hard to beat the system
When we're standing at a distance
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Now if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed a Christmas
No more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want

That's why we're waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It's not that we don't care,
We just know that the fight ain't fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

And we're still waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
One day our generation
Is gonna rule the population
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change


  1. I love this quote. I think the best thing to do is like you said, take care of your own space in the world. Try and do or say something nice each day to one person, be generous-not necessarily with money, but with good intentions/thoughts. And have gratitude, that one is hard, esp when life gets you down. I try and think of five things each night that I was grateful for, it creates a more positive feeling in my life.


  2. I like this. We are sometimes so focused on the things (as hard as we try) that we can not change, instead of focusing on our own little world that we can make so much better.

    And yes, the ripples in the water, they just need someone to start them! Then eventually they grow big and strong and spread out wide. It would be nice that something that we do could create one of those ripples.

  3. Grateful! That's one I forgot. Thanks Laura.
    I like the idea of ripples. Maybe there's something in that...

  4. I like the words to that song. That's so true about each small change in our world is a start to a much bigger ripple in the tide of change for the world. Good luck with the challenge and I can't wait to see who wins the bag :)


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