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The restoration of hope

One of the biggest challenges faced in my community and country is living in a highly politically-polarized society and the lack of nonbiased alternative sources of information. This polarization represents a big obstacle for organizations or community leaders working for the improvement of living conditions in their communities.

Political polarization comes up in diverse circumstances. In my experience, for example, during the facilitation of workshops I have seen the rising of conflicts among participants due to divergent political points of view. It has always been helpful to emphasize norms of respect and tolerance previously agreed. It is also important to make people realize that in spite of their differences they share common problems and it’s only through organization and collaboration they can achieve more effective and innovative solutions for their needs as community.

Nowadays, I believe one of the most defying challenges we face as society is the restoration of hope in people’s hearts. I think there’s a profound sense of hopelessness and disenchantment with traditional leadership, not only at community level, but also at national level. Community organizing in Nicaragua has been strongly linked to political parties -which deepens social polarization and makes collaboration harder. Another big challenge is to overcome the deep-rooted sense of dependency on authorities and/or external agents of change. Due to historically established patterns of dependency, people very often expect to get solutions for their problems from outside. Entire generations have grown with the idea of seeking charity instead of founding their struggles in seeking social justice and realization of human rights.

Education on core issues affecting people’s lives has been a valuable strategy when facing those challenges. It is important to help people develop a process of reflective thinking that allows them to take commonly agreed initiatives in addressing their needs. Frequently, lack of information and fear prevent people from demanding the realization of their rights and taking the initiative to get organized.

Personally, it has been helpful try to not make evident in myself the political polarization that affects our country. But above all, under any circumstance, coherence plays a key role. For a leader it has more impact what he/she does than what he/she says; if the leader is truly working for change, it’s necessary for him/her to start working for personal change firstly. If there’s no coherence between work and life, then the leader credibility is in jeopardy, thus people will not have enough motivation to get involved in the process of change.

An essential part of the work with people needs to be focused on strengthening their self esteem and helping them discover and appreciate their own abilities and resources. This is key, considering how hopes of change are constantly threatened by different global crisis: financial, food, climate and energy, for example. Just by guiding people and empowering them to believe they can change the status quo and every human being has something to contribute with, represents itself a big step in the achievement of social change. Hope needs to be restored.

Comments

Jency's picture

Hi

I find the same attitude of looking upto others for help, without even trying anything for yourself in my place too.

Jency

noreens's picture

Maddy, I agree with many of

Maddy,

I agree with many of your points. I also think that people all over are dissatisfied with their leaders, and as you say, have a feeling of helplessness. We see it on the news, but also I think many people feel it in their own communities. You wrote: "People very often expect to get solutions for their problems from outside." I think this is also true just on a personal level. I have noticed that in my community, people complain so much about boredom and the municipality not providing things for the people, and about the appearance of the town - etc. And it's true but I always wonder why those who are complaining don't and provide for themselves, and don't work together to make the town a better places. It takes a lot of hard work and time to change attitudes..
Noreen

ck's picture

inspiring voice

Hi Maddy,

I really like your description of the process of change and how one can use oneself to help inspire change in others.

Keep up the good work!

ck

ck

Tait's picture

Maddy,

I enjoyed reading your post. Do you think that Pulse Wire will be a helpful source in terms of change or do you know how you to use World Pulse to create change for your community?

Tait

Maddy M.'s picture

Thank you for your comment,

Thank you for your comment, Tait. I'm pretty new in PulseWire. I'm just starting to explore it and see the possibilities it offers. But I'm definitely excited about the idea of being in contact with people from different parts of the world who are facing the same issues. These connections can provide an enriching exchange of ideas, solutions, and alternatives. As we often hear, knowledge is power, so just to have the chance to share important information with others provides you a lot of inputs to put into practice in your own reality. I think communication is key for social change and I want to have the opportunity to improve my communication skills through PulseWire.

HARMONY's picture

Wow Muddy!

Your reply to Tait is like a conclusion or a sort of continuity to your post.

I like two lines in your piece:
"strengthening their self esteem and helping them discover and appreciate their own abilities and resources" and "empowering them to believe they can change"

Change start in the mind (that is what I believe) and only confidence can give you strenght to achieve the change you want to see.

I think you are right in restoring Hope for your community and having the Idea is the first step.

You are a great leader and you will succeed in your ambition.

Keep up the good work!

Trust your HOPES, not your fears... Harmony

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