Learning from Egypt: Be the change

“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Gandhi once said.

In the past month we have seen just that. No longer satisfied with the way their country was run, Tunisia ousted leader Ben Ali from his presidential position. About 1,800 political prisoners have been released, and a new interim government is in place.

Following the events in Tunisia, Egypt is currently undergoing a similar revolt in the hopes that President Hosni Mubarak will step down from his leadership role.

Yemenis are gearing up for a protest against their government as well. So how can international events apply to our own lives here in Scarborough?

Instead of just grumbling to yourself or to family about your situation in life, think of ways to improve your way of living. Actively control the course of your life and hold accountable the people who govern it by speaking to your MPP, actively participating in community events or even writing a blog.

Don’t like the way Rob Ford is running Toronto? Write him a letter. Tired of being mistreated at work? Stand up for yourself or find a new job. Bored with the same old routines in your life? Maybe it’s time to go back to school, find a new hobby or take a break to travel around the world.

While many of these things are easier said than done, all it takes is a little courage to get the ball rolling.

Change might not happen quickly, but “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Rosa Parks sat in her bus seat to further the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr. made a speech. Suffragettes protested, went to court and became martyrs to make a case for women’s rights.

If something isn’t right in your life, don’t sit back passively and hope it goes away. Take action and push for a change. All anyone needs is a little will and determination to start a revolution ­­­­­­­— whether in themselves or in society.

Life is too short to live unhappily. This is a call for everyone to start living his or her best.