Don’t talk about it, be about it. Be The Change.
Be The Change. “Don’t Talk About it be about it” – Drake. When it comes to being ‘The Change’, what’s that actually all about you might ask? Well 2017 has been the year of change, what a journey this year has been. It started off pretty depressing, anxious, uncertain even. We started it in shell shock pretty much on a global basis. The whole US election crisis had already thrown the world into turmoil and thrown up many more questions than answers. Then there were the UK elections. Wow. Already dealing with the fall-out of the Brexit vote (the result of which came in on the morning of my wedding day), the argument that had divided families, friendships. It was just really clear that the world, was due, ripe for change and no matter how rose tinted our glasses, how apathetic, how unengaged we may individually try to be, things were never going to be the same.
With the exposure of fake news, real news, what is news, what is propaganda, more and more questions, less and less answers, I found it increasingly difficult to work. Looking at fashion and luxury lifestyles, even on a budget, just seemed at that moment a little trivial to me, there seemed to be such a state of urgency to the global crisis of a total lack of direction, of purity of anything. With every retail message that was beginning to pop into my email I became increasingly annoyed at the blatant disrespect I felt levelled at the consumer, some of the clear tactics or sly-cology as I refer to it which I took offence to as some of them, well to say an insult on basic intelligence would be putting it mild.
Then we came to the UK vote, already I was expecting the adults to do what they always do, nothing, moan, tut, shake their heads and do ultimately nothing, “that’s just the way it is” I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard that, in companies, organisations, community groups, social gatherings everywhere. Watching the UK vote results live for me is like watching Stockholm syndrome on a mass scale. Where people simply don’t believe it’s going to get any better anyway. Then came the young people, the youth vote, the passion, the fire, the determination to make things happen, to shake things up and take control of their future. The marching, the gathering, across the UK, across the globe in fact in 2017, the noise, the social media, the disruption, the power, and the wake up call us older people needed. Wake the f**** up. Stop F****ing things up.
I have been so moved, then and everyday since to actually see the world that young people are trying, striving and thriving, fighting to create, regardless of the mature gatekeepers. For too long they have been written off as uniformed, uninvolved, and yet, it isn’t them, it’s us. The youth movement globally but especially within the UK have been motivational for me in every aspect of my life this year. Why am I waiting, to retire, to have more time, to have more disposable income, then I’ll make things happen for the grate good. Watching all these bright ambitious young people trying in all directions to make it happen, how can I sit down and stay silent any longer? Be the Change.
So I decided to get up, stand up, do something. Being part of local causes and community groups for some time, that has been a fabulous experience, a training ground, but I felt it was time to play my part in making the change I want to see, shaping the person I want to be. If I’m moaning at a lack of representation, then I need to represent. As a mother, a female, a woman of colour, a person with a lifelong condition, a disability, whatever, I can’t complain if I haven’t tried to sit at the table, of being denied a seat. Be the Change.
So, I embarked on my journey. Joining a global charity as trustee, the healthcare sector, being involved and more actively supporting the Arts & Culture because that’s a passionate area for me and STEM. You cannot be serious about the future, for yourself, for your children and not embrace, try to understand or incorporate STEM right now. Basically everything which I found having an impact in some significant way on my life and being allied with my skills and interests. I can make a difference, I will make a difference, if only to be a voice at the table that enables many many more voices that come after me, that facilitates and empowers people around the world, that changes lives, that changes the game, that changes the playing field, Change. Change is gonna come. About time.
Since embarking on my journey to extend my philanthropic activities from local causes and fundraising to a grander scale, a lot has happened around me, every day. For me, the energy is undeniable, it’s a wave of positive exciting motivation and impact happening all around us. People are speaking up, refusing to be quite about whatever it is that bothers us.Look at all the revelations of 2017, all about empowering people sectors of society that have long been subdued and held down not only by acts of abuse of power, but often by an unspoken general rule of silence. Don’t make a fuss, don’t grumble, it’s just how it is, no that’s how it was. Be the Change.
I see the change in my favourite magazines, Edward Enninful, Vogue and the new team the first edition, not so much sweeping away the old regime as blowing it to pieces and saying, “we’re here and we’re relevant” for people of colour, that feeling….I felt it everywhere, that recognition of the significance of the moment we were actually living in.
The public support and marketing drive for Rihanna’smake-up line Fenty Beauty and Fenty Puma collaboration. The latest Pirelli Calendar, and so much more.
There is so much happening. Then there is Mental Health, blowing the lid open on the stigma, the box people have had to hide in. Then the empowerment of women, the gender pay gap issues, sexual harassment issues, the expose of big players within the media industry using power without responsibility to subjugate both men and women at their will sexually. It was never about the sex, it was always about power, control, subjugating, enforcing wills, breaking people and the sick pleasure derived from this. The pleasure derived knowing people had no voice and no where to go has enabled bullies for centuries, but no more. Be the Change.
The government themselves having to set new boundaries and guidlelines in line with the expectations of the public of how we or rather they should all be behaving.
Oh My God let’s not forget the arrival of Meghan Markle to the Royal Household. How proud are we all, though we don’t know her, how genuinely happy are we to see this remarkable intelligent philanthropic young lady join our biggest establishment. Having it all? Yes you can, yes she did. She finally believed she was enough and then she was. That sums up the most magical fairytale, the successful career, the voice, the platform and philanthropy, the Prince. Damned straight she’s enough!
The changes keep coming, day by day, the momentum, the pace, the excitement. I find less time to review products but find myself absorbed by life-changing issues, platforms, movements and experiences and the many wonderful inspirational people with such interesting stories, journeys to share, from which we learn. I find the interest in science has evolved into so much more as a platform to really impact our futures through education, through emancipation of third world countries, the possibilities are endless, and I for one am so excited.
Change gonna come. Forget the same script different cast mentality that has prevailed for centuries in every direction we turn. With you or without you, it’s happening now, a pivotal time in our society and our future. It’s up to us to be the change we want to see. Change the narrative, re-write the script, be in the cast. Change is happening in this very moment somewhere right now with a momentum unseen before. With us, for us, by us, not regardless of us. Transition, to what I’m not sure, we’re still collectively writing that script but of one thin I’m certain. Change is going to come.