I had a debate with my accountant this morning…
I wanted to change my aforementioned “title” from ‘Education Consultant’ to ‘Social Change Agent’. He informed me that IRD doesn’t have a ‘code’ for that job title. I told him they should because more people should be doing it.
We settled on ‘Education Consultant’ with the reassurance that the three of us in the room at least, where very clear that I actually meant ‘social change agent’.
I know the saying is “you attract more bees with honey” but actually you shouldn’t feed bees honey, it can give them diseases! If you do need to feed a bee, sugar water is what you want to give them but that didn’t sound so catchy and they do love flowers 😉
I grew up being mentored in all things business by a very successful ‘change agent’ in the business world. Change was something I was always going to strive for in my life time I think.
After a several years in the business world, working with a lecturer of mine who also called himself a ‘change manager’ I grew disheartened that there was only so much change I was going to be able to make from within that world. The business focus of maximising profits and making people a machine was fundamentally not going to shift from the inside.
There are so, so many issues and conflicts and ills of our currently sick society which you can find in many aspects, places and areas of the world right now. I am not going to even attempt to give you some examples here…
But my last personal social change project was about digital rights and issues like cyberbullying online. I was working with youth who had well and truly had their lives permeated by social media at a time when the rest of us were just beginning to catch up…
The script we developed and used in our “Youtube booth” was as follows:
Social media – its what adults call talking online.
The internet made the world different,
Technology is changing the way we are interacting,
But at the end of the day its still just about talking.
So whether its online or off, speak to people with respect,
Don’t say things you don’t mean, and treat others the way you would like to be treated.
When you see someone getting picked on, have the courage to say something.
And remember in the online world, things are not always the way they seem.
So, stop and think. Cause once you click you lose control.
I really thought these issues where mainly teenagers being shitheads, as I was for sure as a teenager. That these where actually common teenage issues being exacerbated by the internet. But I think I was wrong…
I have watched grown adults, parents themselves in fact, do the very same unkind things to each other online in recent weeks… Maybe its the internet, it brings out the worst in us…?
Its cool watching these videos again! We had so much fun doing these events 😉
Since we did that campaign in 2010 the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 has been introduced but still, people are being really hurtful to each other in these settings often. Still people can be real dicks about expressing their opinions.
Yes we are all entitled to have different opinions of things. No your experience is not invalidated by someones else whose story doesn’t line up with yours. No, you don’t have to be a dick or be hurtful when you are expressing your own thoughts.
What happened to human decency and consideration? We are all different, we have all had different journeys and that means our perspective of things can be different to each others. That is ok.
Don’t be a dick about it.
Being behind a screen doesn’t make the impact of your words less significant. We can create change and make a difference without being hurtful, I promise.
I know it feels like pushing shit up hill with a sieve and smiling and being kind and considerate while you have shit flying in your face is hard and draining and a lot of work. But its actually worth it..
Social change that comes from a place of kindness and compassion and is fun and different, that’s cool. That is awesome, lets do more of that.
We don’t have to be hurtful to change the world. We can be kind. Lead by example, demonstrate and role model kindness. To ourselves, to others and for our kids…
We can reach a different place, a different world for our children while still being kind to each other.
THINK before you speak (or post if you like). Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
No to any of those? Them do you really need to post it…?