I am thinking about the future. I’m asking people what sort of world do they want? Because I don’t believe the future world will be made by other people, it will be created by us. Each of us will be a part of shaping this new world. Our world will be shaped by our actions and our inaction. What things did you ignore, close your eyes to and continued to hope someone else would do it? What future do you want our children to have?
These are challenging questions, but I notice a difference in people now and it gives me great hope for the future. In my street and all around the country people are looking out for each other. An example is a household that can get shopping delivered, is now putting an elderly neighbours order on, so they don’t have to go to the shops. They can stay safe because people are looking out for each other.
What has changed?
I admit that there always were members of the community who have put a lot of their personal time and energy in to making a better world. They know that if you want something doing, crack on and make a start. Actions make a better world. But this hasn’t felt true for everyone. Many people have felt disempowered, unable to affect change in any way in their own lives or the lives of others. This is reflected in the numbers of people turning out to vote.
People have been so busy making a living they haven’t had time to stop and think, look at where they are in life and what they are doing. When we are living according to our values, we are living with integrity. Do you value money over family or is family first? Do you need more money for more stuff, gadgets and distractions or more quality time each week with your family and friends? Where does your time go? What do you prioritise? What are your values? Are you living life according to your values?
The “Great Pause” has made us all stop to some degree. We are faced with a huge challenge; the pandemic and our actions matter. Everyone is being asked to act responsibly, to think of the greater good which is in their own good. The focus has moved away from the individual, our busy lives, our personal aspirations of success to the community we are in. Our lives, our safety depends on us working together and following the Government guidelines. Although we are physically distancing, we are also becoming closer as a community. Communities can be geographical, households living in the same area, but there’s also a strengthening of communities of interest. People are coming together, learning together, sharing their wisdom and supporting each other online. We are being tested to our very core, our beliefs are being challenged, this can make us feel unstable. Reaching out to others helps us in uncertain times. Community is important, we are social animals.
Powerful acts of kindness
I see people all over the world acting from their hearts, helping members of their communities online and locally. Because at some level we realise that when we do good deeds, they benefit others and us. Volunteering in our communities, kindness, the act of giving, makes us feel better. We are being helpful and we’re building a better world. Our actions make a difference. The difference is we are all remembering this, we are consciously connecting to our power, our power to make a difference. We can each make a dramatic difference by our actions and our words.
All our little actions, virtuous deeds make a huge difference. We have the power to change the world. Can you feel your power? That knowing, like a little flame that has been fanned in the Great Pause. Our power and our passion are coming back to life.
Can I make a difference?
What do you want to create? You have the power to make decisions and carry them through with your actions. It only takes 25% of the population to adopt something and it comes a new norm. David Noonan’s 2018 article quotes Arnout van de Rijt, who studies social networks and collective action “this is about a minority trying to change the status quo, and succeeding by being unrelenting. By committing to a new behaviour, they repeatedly expose others to that new behaviour until they start to copy it.” “The other environment in which the 25 percent effect is particularly evident, Centola says, is online—where people have large numbers of interactions with lots of other people, many of them strangers.” If you are involved in online communities, this can be very powerful. The way you act, can draw like-minded souls to you. Your actions can change the world.
What does the new world look like?
Are you concerned about the state of the planet? What would you like the new world to look like? How do people act? How do you act in that new world? How do you want people to act towards each other? Do you want people to be suspicious, fearful of eye contact and smiles? Are people expected to manage in isolation? Or do you want to continue to build stronger communities, through kind deeds and smiles? Do you feel we should be involved in local and national decision-making structures? How can new decision-making structures enable people to be involved in a meaningful way? How can we bring our skills and expertise to our communities to help and support them thrive? What can you do to make the world you are dreaming of a reality?
How are you acting and thinking?
The old world was imbued with “my opinion and my actions don’t matter”. That world doesn’t exist anymore. Everything has changed so much over the last couple of months. Has your thinking changed? We have felt the power of our actions, our voice calling for action from our leaders. We’re still in Lockdown and we can influence what happens next. What we do influences the world we create. Our actions towards each other, our community our world does make a difference. We have been reminded of our power. Now you choose how you use it. Do you want a better world? How will you make a better world?
Share your thoughts about the actions you will take now and in the future. What have you wanted to do in the past, but not made time for? What will you stop doing? What have you learnt over the last 2 months? What do you want to continue to do in the future?