As we celebrate the start of 2014, many consider how they can enact change in the new year.
Editor’s note: This is an introduction to a six-part series exploring the lives of people having a positive impact on Colchester County.
"In a gentle way, you can shake the world."
― Mahatma Gandhi
Some of us will resolve to commit to a personal goal like an exercise program or a healthy diet. Others make a list of things they wish to acquire, like a new car or house. I encourage you to resolve to be a change agent.
A change agent is a catalyst for positive change. It is not reserved to the responsibility of any one position, but a responsibility for us all. We can each make the most of our unique talents to create a positive contribution in our own way. Consider where you might have the greatest impact.
Each of us has some capacity to create change. It matters what we think and do. What we think and do touches other people's lives in ways we may not appreciate. In my favourite novel, The Five People you Meet in Heaven, author Mitch Albom explores how people's lives are intertwined in unexplained ways and how even the little things you do can affect other people’s lives and experiences dramatically.
Most of us can remember a small act of kindness that affected our own life. This is the power of personal potency. The commitment of one person to create change may be just enough to make the difference. Look at human rights champions like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. – major changes start at grassroot levels.
It has been said that any great change requires consciousness-raising. This series will recognize change agents in our community, inform the community of programs and resources, and raise awareness of the need for community services. This is in response to some peoples' assumptions that our society is unchangeable. Regardless of your priorities, be open-minded to the possibility of change, personal capacities to contribute to change, and your own personal potency.
Readers are encouraged to submit names of change agents who deserve recognition for their commitment to make positive change in Colchester County to Lia Renaud at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lia Renaud is a recent graduate of Western University in London, Ont., and is happy to be now living in Colchester County.