I once saw this quote, and I have had trouble finding it ever since with the influx of constant information one finds online. Trying to sort through it all to find this one golden quote has felt exhausting. So, let it be known that this idea I’m about to embark on isn’t my original thought. The idea is that we are having a harder time now, more than ever, with maintaining and learning how to love ourselves and others in this modern age of consumption.
We are taught how to love and get along with others in the same way we are taught to be a part of the capitalist system. We are taught to give and receive love scarcely, with fear and limitations. The very fact that I find so many similarities between the way we handle personal relationships and business relationships could be viewed as either heartwarming for business relationships that I have, or terrifyingly calculated from my personal relationships.
I’ve never been comfortable with the status quo. I’ve never been comfortable with stepping back, shrugging, walking away, and just accepting things for what they are. We cannot have this mentality. As privileged as I am to be able say I have a smart phone or a Twitter account, to be able to have a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head every night, to not feel completely horrified when I have to walk by myself at night in my home neighborhood or the streets of Manhattan, I will say I have it better than most. To be able to say that I had a job lined up for me after graduation, and I got the official offer letter the day I graduated, I feel truly blessed to know that my hard work and the power of strategic networking (hard work can only get you so far…I was brought to the door with networking; I still have to be “good” at what I do to stay in my position).
So, if I have all of these things and more—a happy home, a great set of close friends, and a boyfriend who is planning his proposal to me already—why have I begun to feel so disillusioned? I literally do not have anything to complain about right now. I have so many blessings in my life, so many things to be grateful for. Many things I have worked for on my own, but there were other things and opportunities which came my way due to certain privileges that I do hold. Of course I am a minority and a female, but I still come from a financially stable family, am able-bodied, and never have to worry about being discriminated against for my sexual orientation.
Then it dawned on me. I was growing tired of the status quo of the people I personally know and love being trod down on, and the people I have yet to know—as they say, strangers are just family we have yet to know. It’s about doing more than just being grateful or lucky because of all the advantages that I have, that we all have. I, you, they, WE together have the power to help change the status quo. If you or I see a wrong being done, and you or I have the ability to say something or make a change—no matter how small or seemingly insignificant—to do something, even a little something, is better than doing nothing.
This is the first step to change: realizing you have the desire to change. The second step is realizing that you have the ability to do so, and the change always starts with you. It branches out from there. Educating yourself, educating your immediate circle, and going beyond that. I have gone through waves of feeling this emotion around college. I came into college wanting to make a difference in this world, and felt burdened by academic repetitiveness and personal distractions—some heavily influenced by others, some I willingly took in, foolishly, to entertain myself with empty and fleeting pleasures. Then I had that very brief window (approximately 2 weeks) before I began my career in New York City.
I realized that the time would never be right. If I want to make the change, it’s now or it’s never. No matter how stable my career will be in the present or future, my personal life goals will always add into the mix: dealing with family, dealing with friends, getting married, getting pregnant, and growing a stable family. If I want to make a change in the world, while still being able to accomplish my other goals, I have to make a plan. Throw caution to the wind. Talk the talk and then walk the walk. Do research. Learn by doing. Fail. Get up. Try again. Fail. Eventually succeed. Never losing hope or optimism.
So here it goes. I’m taking a plunge into the unknown. Life may come with suggestions, but there’s no ultimate rulebook or proper play-by-play. I’m not completely sure what I’m capable of, but I know I want to make changes in this world. I want to leave a mark on this world, for the better. For the better of the people who wanted a voice, to be empowered, when all of this time, the voice was within them. Of course it sounds crazy or naïve, but it’s just crazy enough that it actually might work. I hope the same for you all, too.
My best and more,
@AlphaFemSociety tweets by @KellyRGonzales