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Converging for social change: Is everyone following?

The world is drastically changing and societies are converging. People are learning more about different societies, a lot of ignorance is fading away, people are getting more informed – and this is good for social change.

The modern convergence of societies which boosts social change is operating rapidly and is not only as a result of the media but also because of social actors – community activists, politicians, entrepreneurs and other contributing members of the public – who are willing to lend their voices on platforms that will reach across societies. In recent years, you and I have seen a world where you do not have to be from a particular nation before you can speak up on the issues being faced by the locals of that nation. In this day and age, Canadians can speak up for any suffering Jamaicans, the Polish can speak up for any suffering Canadians – these are just examples. Again, the world is converging and this is good for social change. The question is: How can people make the best out of this benefit?

A major way is by staying informed. People need to read newspapers, watch the news and constantly engage with others. Sometimes, wish yourself strength and look through the words under a bitter caption. If you do not read, if you do not watch, if you do not listen – it is almost impossible to make social change. Those activities take you outside of your own reasoning and you can grasp the reality of a people and what the understanding of others about that situation is. This is dialoguing. When you turn on the news, you are dialoguing. Same thing goes for when you are speaking with a group of social actors who have organized for action or change.

When you dialogue, you are able to understand issues better and most importantly, you realize why there is much ado about a particular issue. Dialoguing helps to cast away – personal stereotypical beliefs, lack of interest and channel vulnerability in the right direction.

You may sometimes fail to see the issue in an issue because of a stereotype that you do not acknowledge. For instance, when a Black person gets wrongfully shot in America, there are those who sympathize and there are those who try to find reason to castigate the deceased. Reason that is backed up with stereotypes, while such persons fail to question why an unarmed person will be shot as though he/she were armed. Everyone has a stereotype but it does not have to be permanent. When you dialogue including having constructive arguments with people, your stereotypes begin to come clear and only when you have acknowledged them can you then work towards change.

To alleviate social problems, the attention of many needs to be garnered and this is why the media (when they do not misinform), social media, organizations for social change are appreciated and continuously needed. They raise awareness on issues, frame and deliver information about these issues in a way that spurs interest. Allow yourself to give in. Allow yourself to care, allow your conscience to stay activated.

It is human nature to be vulnerable and this can be a virtue when it awakens compassion in people. Social issues test vulnerability and you may just want to change the channel or throw away that newspaper. However, you must first feel before you can take strides.

Stay informed and do not stop having an open-minded approach towards caring for the issues of people and societies.

Love,

Chiamaka

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