Day by day, the news emphasizes the weight of what the people of Northern Africa are accomplishing. Granted, Libya is not going quite as smoothly as Egypt, yet they are demanding change none the less. It really puts things in perspective when you look at our relatively easy lives when all things are accounted for. While we may be dodging hypothetical bullets, people every day are dodging real ones—praying to make it to see tomorrow.
So again, allow me to reiterate: We are going to take the core foundation of these revolutions and apply them to our own lives. As the great Mother Teresa once said, “Do not wait for leaders! You do it, person to person.”
With the onset of another revolution from the technical side, communicating to one another has become effortless. However, it seems to have become a catch 22. While we maintain contact daily, when was the last time to spoke to that someone face-to-face? We have allowed ourselves to be viewed as “usernames” rather than people—especially among our work environment.
In today’s competitive atmosphere, the ability to communicate your ideas is essential for success. There will be many times in your life, where you will feel silenced by your alleged superiors due to lack in email response or callback. In the end we are all human—remind them of that. If you feel strongly about something, don’t give up on yourself. Find a way to be heard. Be bold, and find a way to introduce yourself. By attaching a face to the caller or email sender, it will hold much more weight than those digital recordings.
Getting to know your colleagues, partners, or employees is a lost treasure among businesses. I am honored to say that some of my closest friends are people I have met through business; and on the other side, some of my best business deals have been through a connection made in conversation. Today, things are managed over the internet, signed and faxed back. The hand shake—something coveted amongst business cohorts—has become an endangered species. Make a personal habit to introduce yourself, shake someone’s hand and make an impression. That is the only way you will get anywhere in life.
As Mother Teresa and the community of Northern Africa have demonstrated, do not wait on your leaders to change. You need to “be the change you wish to see.”—Ghandi.
With everything that has happened in the last month in Egypt, one can’t help but stop and admire. A nation that had been subjected to suppression of their own government body for over 30 years, found the strength to come together as a community to stand up for their rights. It’s hard to even comprehend.
When you grow up with a set of laws, live by standards that have been engraved since birth, it’s hard to think about ever trying to change. I mean, heck, most people won’t even take the chance of quitting a job they despise to fulfill a life of satisfaction. Yet, one of the most ancient civilizations in our known history, found the courage to change.
What really amazes me is the way the people of Egypt accomplished their goal. There was a group of people who had a vision of a free Egypt; and then realized that there was more with the same vision. For the most part, they were able to have a violent-free protest in Tahrir Square, demanding that the country should belong to the people. They organized a group of civilians to monitor and manage their protestors, and ensure that nothing got out of control. As a result, their infamous President, Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down and give the people what they wanted.
It was pure joy to watch the news channels project images of freedom and happiness among the Egyptian community. There were men, woman, children—all wanting to be a part of the celebration. Again, I find it awe inspiring that a country can break down thousands of years old social barriers , yet there are free people every day who put up with the hand their “dealt”. Why do we allow ourselves to be subjected to an environment, treatment, or a situation, that we so passionately dislike? One of the biggest chances I took—to invest in Century21—turned my life around forever. Yet, I speak with people more often than not, about how they don’t like their current situation. Really what they’re saying is “I’m too afraid to take the chance and make a change.”
The only advice I can give is to stand up for what you want, and take a leap of faith.