In the third of a series of articles documenting the thoughts of local anti-bullying ambassador Elsa Arnold, the founder of the Spreading Kindness Through E11 initiative explains how we can all effect change
I’ve always been someone who has dreamt of ways to make a positive difference and inspire even just a small change in the world. It’s important to me that I am able to have an impact and help others with issues I understand and feel passionately about shaping.
When I experienced bullying and struggled with my mental health, my desire and need to help others got stronger, and after struggling so much, I couldn’t stand by knowing that other people were experiencing similar difficulties. I knew and believed I could make a difference.
But I’ll be honest, taking the first few steps to speak out and stand up was one of the most terrifying things I have done. It hasn’t always been easy. I knew from the beginning I might get a little bit of backlash. I didn’t expect it to be easy, particularly because the issue was still very sensitive for me at the time. But that was never going to stop me. I knew however hard it was, it was completely necessary for me to do what I could to help others and be the change that I wanted to see in the world.
We all have something that we believe needs to change to achieve more equality, fairness and justice in the world we live in. But for real change to happen, hoping for the best and relying on others doesn’t lead to many results. We need to have the courage to act.
All too often, I hear people say their voice and their actions can’t make a significant difference, particularly other teens and young people around me. I’m constantly trying to communicate to others how valuable their actions are in making a difference. It could be the smallest change you want to see within your school or at work, something you believe would make a safer and happier environment for others. You don’t have to start a national campaign; you just have to believe that by taking some regular small actions, you will contribute towards making a big difference.
Ask yourself, what change do you want to see in the world? And how can you be a part of creating it?
We all have a responsibility to look out for one another and shape the future we want, because only we can decide what it holds.
So please, don’t underestimate the power you have to make a difference. Do your little bit to stand up for what you believe in and don’t rely on others, because we all need to help. If we all act more, we will achieve amazing things together, because change starts with us.