The secret to world change
By CAPTAIN MAHMOOD AL MAHMOOD
The scale of our personal improvement ambitions – a.k.a. New Year Resolutions – is often a commentary on the times that we are living in. Gone are the days when we lived in an innocent world where losing weight and travelling the world were the top resolutions. Today, much weightier concerns shape our goals – doing something about climate change, for example, or raising awareness about mental health or saving the Antartic ice shelf.
The problem of course is that the internet has made internet warriors of us all. We sit in the comfort of our living rooms and try to solve the worries of the world at the click of our mouse. Well, here’s an unpleasant bit of news – the internet is a mighty alter universe which has changed the way we communicate and store knowledge. But it cannot substitute for real engagement. You can send out a thousand forwards about things that need changing and participate in hundreds of protests online but it all boils down to one thing: as Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see’.
Simply put, it all begins with you. Want to do something for the environment? You don’t need to be a Greta Thunberg. You can begin by reducing and reusing plastics in your household, by responsibly disposing of e-waste and batteries, by leading a sustainable life where you are aware of every purchase – food waste from your household refrigerator and textile waste from the factory floor make up the bulk of the world’s garbage.
Want to tackle mental health awareness? Be understanding to those whom you believe need support as they tackle their mental crises. Talk openly in your community and among friends about mental health awareness and solutions so that the stigma is erased. If you are in a position to support a mental health sufferer as an employer, embrace the opportunity.
Let us step into 2023 with the clear knowledge that it all boils down to one person – you. Change and the world will change with you.
Happy New Year!
(Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism).