How to Change the World

...or at least the world around you.

I’m pretty sure 2016 is going to go down in history as a dismal point in the twenty first century. At least, I hope future generations look back appalled at the actions of their ancestors, however much we don't appear to have learnt from previous mistakes.

Right now, many of us are left feeling deflated, scared and disenfranchised. After the devastation of Brexit, the current election result is a heartbreak that’s hard to bear. I, like most, am terrified of what this could mean for millions of Americans. After the EU referendum, hate crime increased by 58% & I can only hope the hatred fuelling Trump’s campaign doesn’t incite a similar alarming reaction.

Be angry, be upset, be afraid, be everything & anything you need to be to make it through but please don’t give up; we have so much further to go.

& if you’re feeling hopeless, here’s 5 things you can do to make a difference right now:

1. Donate to your local food bank

Whether you find something in your cupboards or add an extra item to your weekly shop, every little helps. No one should have to go hungry, especially not in one of the 'greatest' countries in the world, but the use of Foodbanks remains at a record high.

To find your nearest Foodbank go here: Trussell Trust
To help in America, check out Feeding America

2. Disengage with the media

Not all of it, obviously, just the bigoted, idiotic crap. Stop reading the Daily Fail just to 'catch up with celebrities'. Stop engaging with the likes of Katie Hopkins. Stop switching off the news because 'it's too depressing'. Stop scrutinising the bodies of reality stars. Stop believing everything you see on the front page of The Sun. Start questioning why you don't care about the Black Lives Matter movement but know who got voted off X Factor.

3. Educate yourself

However frustrating it seems, knowledge is power & idiocy is dangerous. Education does not have to be held in a classroom & if you have access to the internet you have no excuse for ignorance. If you didn't vote because you 'didn't get it', that's no one's fault but your own. If you 'don't understand politics', it's not our job to teach you. If you don't care because it doesn't affect you, ask yourself why you are complacent with racism/sexism/homophobia? This is not a joke, your privilege is someone else's oppression.

4. Speak up

Silence takes the side of the oppressor & we are all guilty of avoiding awkward situations by remaining quiet to be polite. I say, fuck that. Challenge the stranger on the bus, mouthing off about people 'taking our jobs'. Ask your friends why they think it's okay to spout sexist remarks. Confront your family when they reiterate racist bullshit. Tell your colleague you're unconformable with their homophobic remarks. Support strangers who receive unfounded abuse. Call them out & look out for one another.

5. Stay sane

Doing what's right can be exhausting & emotionally draining. Take care of yourself first & do whatever you need to heal, your well-being is important. Your mental health is important. You are important.

I know it's hard & I know you're struggling but you are not alone. I truly believe together we can change the world for the better, one small, terrifying step at a time.


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