In my research for the book I am writing on the late Anita Roddick I have been transcribing many of her old speeches. I find it gobsmacking that all I need to do is change the date and her words remain as relevant and as eloquent even when 20+ years old. We miss her leadership in these challenging times but we need to take up the challenge to create change. For if we don’t who will.
“Rhythm, beauty and heroism in conflict, forgiveness in the face of atrocity, and kindness practised tenaciously are the curious and heart-stopping acts that have the power to change the world.
Change will never come about by our governments. They are economic governments and do not measure their greatness by how they treat the weak and the frail. Everything now has an economic value. This value now overrides every other human value. Kindness, compassion, humanness, they are all pretty conspicuous in their absence. Power and money trump everything else, ultimately even humanity.
Change will always come about by moral dissenters and by the persistence of small committed groups of people willing to fail over long periods of time until that rare wonderful moment when the dam of oppression, indifference and greed finally cracks and those in power finally accept what the world’s people have been saying all along: There has to be a revolution in kindness.
It will be a lifetime’s work to clear away all the fatuous fantasies and false promises that have been painted in our minds layer after layer, year after year, on the millions of billboards, in print and electronic ads, in a language of myth and persuasion.
If we still accept what we are told by the media and our political leaders as they market the future to us as apparently inevitable, then we become merely the audience of our own demise.”
Anita Roddick (1996)
How will you lead change this year?