We commented on the courage and determination these people all showed, the inspiration they managed to convey, but still could not agree on a definition of what makes a world changer.
What we could agree on is how not to do it.
So this is our list on how not to be a world changer:
- Do not persevere. If you give up when you encounter a problem, you have no chance of being a world changer. If you give up on the second, third or fourth problem, you will also never be a world changer. Be laid-back, don’t work hard – this is the way to never make a difference at all, and never be a world changer.
- Have no ambition. Dream small, think small, well within what usually happens around you, and you will never be a world changer.
- Accept no challenges. Do what is easy – if you do what you know you can already do, you will never be a world changer.
- Never fail. If you follow all the advice above you will never make mistakes or fail. You will also never be a world changer.
- Be really jealous and ignore people who do well. If you see someone succeed; ignore them – do not go over, congratulate them and ask how they did it! No, be jealous and resentful. Stay away from team work! Do this and you will never be a world changer.
What we did learn is that being a world changer is more of a lifestyle choice. There are always new horizons and new goals, always ways to improve and achieve, and always people to inspire you on your way. It’s not a fixed end but a continual process that continues throughout your life.
So armed with this knowledge the children went forth and prepared a museum exhibit on a world changer of their choice. The range was both inspiring and surprising: from Gandhi to Frank Whittle, from Boyan Slat to George Washington, from Benito Juarez to Steve Jobs. The variation was huge, but the underlying characteristics were the same.
We invited parents into school to see our exhibits and we shared our knowledge, but we hoped that we would share something bigger, something less tangible than facts, dates and inventions. A lifestyle choice: to be ambitious, accept the big challenges, stick with it however tough it gets, to fail and fail again, but keep persevering. To realise that any big change in the world begins with smaller changes in ourselves, or put more poetically by Mahatma Ghandi:
“We must become the change we wish to see in the world."