“Bryan and Zarina are going to Gdansk for the weekend, do you want to go?”
Any question that involves travel and new experiences is almost always going to be answered with a HELL YES from me! I had no idea where Gdansk was, and even after finding out it was in Poland, had to check the map when the plane landed to find out *exactly* where in Poland I was! For a planner and organiser I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to travel! My pre-travel research was so limited that I didn’t even know whether Poland was on the Euro or not, but I knew it was going to be a nice weekend away. What I didn’t realise was how it would spark something in me and reaffirm my admiration and fascination with everyday people doing amazing things.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
A random sightseeing stroll to the Solidarity Museum on the Saturday morning opened my eyes to the story of Lech Wałęsa, Poland President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, founder of the Soviet bloc’s first independent Trade Union and electrician at the Gdansk Shipyards. He was part of the key negotiations following the August 1980 strikes that took place at the Gdansk shipyards which were monumental in changing the future of Poland. It is for people like Lech and thousands of his compatriots that mean I am even able to travel and experience Poland today.
I am inspired, and to be honest, often quite envious, of principled and driven individuals. Those people who even when the world seems stacked against them and their safety may be compromised are still unwavering in their commitment to a cause or an outcome. The ones who are so focused and driven that they will pour their blood, sweat, tears, time and energy into one potentially small project or idea, but whose ripples go so wide as to make a massive change.
The falling of the Berlin wall.
Removing apartheid in South Africa.`
The civil rights movement in America.
All of these life changing events started with the actions of a small committed group of people. One, two, a handful and then leading to a greater and greater number who come on board. The ones who truly believe that there is a different way. Those with an almost unwavering and mentally disturbed single vision about what could be possible. A commitment to believing in a unique and different story.
Sometimes it feels as though we are so small and some of the problems that are facing the world are just so big. Yet small (and repeated) actions can lead to massive, life-altering changes for many. Those actions of Lech, an electrician at the Gdansk shipyard on the 14th of August 1980 helped lead to a free Poland. Sure there are thousands of inter-connected stories and Lech’s isn’t the only one, but he is one that I have heard and has reminded me that we all can have a part to play in altering the future of our society, of our world. From electrician to President by way of winning the Nobel Peace Prize!
Today I want to celebrate all those thousands of people who at THIS MOMENT are taking small actions, doing what they believe in.
Those people who are doing it because they care so much, that they believe in something others may not yet see. Those small actions that will lead to big ripples. I want to honour and commend them.
May we all do what feels right for us.
May we fight for causes that we feel compelled to be a part of.
May we all find ways to create the ripples of a new and better world.