Have you ever told a friend “You need to ask your partner to share the household chores equally. You’ll burn out trying to keep up with your office work and do everything at home. Plus, it’s not really fair!”
Only to have her say “You’re right. But this is not how our society works right now. If we lived in a world where we shared chores equally, I’d of course ask him to help. But till then there’s no point – it’s a messy discussion. I might as well save my energy and do what I can rather than lose my sleep over it.”
Or have you told a colleague “You need to ask your boss to let you know when he has these casual dinners with the men in your team.”
Only to have her say “Yeah, but it’s still a boys club out there. There’s no point in making him see his bias and forcing my way in. Hopefully, things will become better for women with time.”
The next time this happens, ask your friend who she thinks ‘society’ is and how she thinks it’ll change. And ask your colleague how she thinks things will become better for women with time if everyone stays quiet about the issues they face.
We all play a role in shaping our society
People often talk about society as if it were an external thing with a mind of its own. That ‘it’ has ‘its’ rules, and we need to listen to ‘it’ or risk making ‘it’ upset. That ‘it’ evolves with time. And we hope ‘it’ evolves into something that gives women their basic rights and treats them fairly.
But who is society? And who makes it evolve and change?
Well, the answer to both the questions is the same.
Society is made of you and all of us together. And it’s you and all of us together that can make it change.
For most of us, it’s easy to recognize the first part: That we make up our society. After all, we feel a sense of belonging to the society we live in. And it’s usually a big part of our identity.
Yet, we tend to put the onus of ‘change’ onto something unknown. We think of it as someone else’s responsibility. Not our responsibility.
Not because we don’t care – we do!
But because we feel powerless, like we’re just products of the society we live in.
Here’s the thing.
If we all continue to act in the same ways we have for years, and wait for “someone else” to change society, it might take a really, really long time for anything to change.
But if we recognize that our actions can change things for us and the people around us, we can gradually move forward to where we want to get to.
If we recognize that our actions can change the status quo for the people who come behind us, we can start making an impact.
And if we recognize that every one of us has a role to play in changing the society we live in, that’s when we’ll see real progress!
Change the status quo
What does this mean for us?
Do we need to pull out banners and march on the streets? That could work. But here’s what’s even more effective.
Just work on improving your own life.
Yup. Start taking tiny steps to create the world that you want to see for yourself. Push the boundaries around you, just a little bit at a time. And keep claiming your space, a little bit at a time.
Just improving your own situation will shake up the status quo, a little bit at a time!
For example, when you stand up for yourself, set your boundaries, and get people to treat you with respect, you’re already changing the status quo for the women around you and coming behind you!
If each of us does this every single day, our little steps will add up with time. Eventually, we’ll get to where we want to get to, together!
Every step each of us takes shapes the society we live in, little by little.
The idea is not to be rebellious or defiant and hurt all our relationships. Nor is to put ourselves in any sort of danger. Instead, do it gradually. Small steps to change the status quo slightly every single day.
For example, if you’re always the one that makes all the arrangements when guests visit, start asking your partner to help in small ways. Ask him to lay the table for dinner. Or tidy up the house. The next time add one additional chore. And keep building on it.
Or if you’re always the one that tells the office assistant to order lunch when a meeting runs over, ask a colleague to do it the next time.
Just take small steps every day to push your boundaries. And make your impact on the society we live in. Awesome!
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek”. – Barack Obama
Coming up next
Tomorrow we’ll see how to be a role model for the next generation.
- We make up society, and we have the power to change it.
Our actions shape our society into what we want it to become. So take small steps to create the world that you want to see for yourself. If each of us does this every single day, our little steps will add up with time. Eventually, we’ll get to where we want to get to, together!
- Do your daily Rekindle routine.
Be a mentor, sponsor and role model, and make your impact on the next generation!
Today, observe how you feel about change in our society. Do you recognize the power you have to shape it? What is one thing you can do to improve your own life and shake up the status quo, just a little bit. Do it. It doesn’t matter how it goes – it’s just the beginning. Well done for trying!
Good job completing the lesson. We’ll see you here same time tomorrow.
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