Be The Change You Want to Be

Be The Change You Want to Be

In a period of time in which we have seen a General Election Campaign, the start-up of a new Party and, a long Leadership Campaign in one political party, there has been a continuous questioning fired at Parties: when are you going to do this? why aren't you doing that? what are you doing about something? And often, there has been a proviso: I shan't support you unless you do this, you won't have my vote if you don't do that. Yes, it is the job of a party to channel , prioritise and then push for those demands to be met through the implementation of policy. But there can be an over-reliance on this. In truth a Party, in having to prioritise, will not be able to represent all demands placed upon it. And when it does, the implementation of policy may have less of a reverberation than that really required to change things. A law may be changed but societal attitudes may take a long time to catch up. So, we also have to look beyond just a Party if we really want to change things. It isn't enough to merely tell a Party what we want of it: it isn't enough to give practical help to the Party in order to achieve that which it has prioritised. There is something else that is required and that is, that each of us have to individually be the change that we wish to see. As individuals we should live as far as we can, or push for as far as we can, that change that we wish to see. We, ourselves, have to go out on a limb like an astronaut leaving the mother ship on a safety line into an unknown space. Change demands that we venture into the new in our lives until it becomes our familiar. And if it seems scary, then we are held and sustained by that which is already familiar to us: our homes, our family, our friends. They are the safety line that enables us to venture into the new, experience the new and become excited by the new. As individuals we can be the change we want to be. We might say, through a Party, that we want a society that recognises that women can build and make things as men can do and we want it to provide for that in the interests of equality. But when my elderly neighbour recently said that she needed a new garden fence, I planned out how to make one, went to the DIY shop and bought the wood and metal joints and took some fence paint I had in my shed out and made her a new fence. Shortly afterwards, a male builder said in a tone of disbelief "You made that fence?" In order to truly bring about change, I believe that it is not enough to demand of a Party that it does the whole work for you but, that you have to also live the change and be the change you want .


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