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Be the Change

By: Sabina Victor

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Nohing is achieved from the comfort zone unless you choose to change and move on. Change is inevitable and can take place at any point in your life. In fact, our life’s journey is characterized by change.

We meet new people, lose loved ones, shift to another place or country, and switch educational institutions and workplaces according to our preferences.

Therefore, change is unavoidable and it’s better to embrace it. When you accept change positively it will bring new opportunities and experiences which are good and beneficial for us. It helps to improve the quality of life by letting go of old habits or behaviours. You will be grateful because you have the strength and resilience to do.

On the other hand, there are some people who may respond to change with fear or denial while others prefer to stick to their traditional approaches or stagnant life and situations. Here are some reasons people resist change: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, emotional turmoil caused by past experience where change had not been positive, fear of departure from status quo, exhaustion/saturation, poor communication, lack of trust, not enough time to focus on the goal of change.

People can prevent the natural aversion to change by:

1 Rewiring their mindset that can help to learn and develop skills for a better lifestyle.

2. Overcoming the fear of failure by interacting with successful people which will lead to growth in mindset and boost self-confidence.

3. Removing uncertainty or doubt by understanding what type of change are you going to undertake and then plan accordingly. Communicate those plans to a trustworthy person who can give you an honest advice.

4. Noting down small or big successes or achievements in a journal. This will help to sustain that positive vibe and perception.

5. Training your mind to look for good things in your undertakings.

I am a staunch believer of positive change for it has done wonders in my professional life. The reason is my positive mindset. A similar view about positive change was upheld by an Irish Playwright and Co-Founder of the London School of Economics, Late George Bernard Shaw who states:

“Progress is impossible without change. And those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything”.

Interestingly, I have been through a remarkable series of metamorphoses as a Seasoned Educationist and Certified Trainer. My struggling years were seen as stepping stones to progress rather than hindrance. The following people & organizations have made my professional life worthwhile as agents of change:

1.Prof. ZakiaSarwar (Hon. Director of Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers) was a catalyst behind my transitional role of a Teacher to Teacher Trainer. She provided me with ample opportunities to write for the SPELT Quarterly Journal and present my work at the SPELT International Conference at Lahore in 2018.

2. Seema Khalid (Regional Professional Development Coordinator at Oxford University Press) is a good college friend who has stood by me through thick and thin. Her pep talks on financial independence led me to give tuitions during my trying times. The tuition fee was utilized for upgrading my learning through professional development courses.

3. Saima Imran (Director of TEACH) and Farah Musharaff (Director of SEEK) are my mentors through whom I have learned a lot about digital technology, digital tools via different courses etc. However, their signature course “Train the Digital Trainer” not only coined me as a Certified Trainer but I was able to establish my educational training and consultancy organization named “Impart-Learning to Excel” in October 2021. Currently, my organization is providing professional development programmes for teachers via online and onsite. In a nutshell, these ladies are doing an amazing job in the field of education and training.

4.RELO Pakistan, Evolution & American English for Educators: My love for teaching English Literature and English Language led me to do several online ELT Professional Development Courses from these organizations. RELO Pakistan (Regional English Language Office) is a Department of the US Embassy, Islamabad. It provides online learning opportunities to Teachers and Educators of English in Pakistan. It works in collaboration with Evolution-Igniting Potential. Whereas, American English for Educators is an international platform that works with all RELOs located worldwide. I am an OPEN Pakistan Alumni and have been awarded twice with American Teaching Resources as well as certificates for various courses.

5. This article will be incomplete without the special mention of a change advocate who has appreciated my achievements and work for Impart. His name is Mr. Ayaz Morris. He is an aspiring broadcast journalist, media trainer and CEO of a Pakistani Private Television Channel named Master TV. Ayaz Morris is a gem of a person. In August 2022, he had invited me to his television programme” BatonBaton Mein” where I was interviewed for English Speaking Skills.

The way he conducts that show speaks volumes of his experience in broadcast media. As a journalist, Ayaz has superb penmanship skills and writes with such ease that every week his articles are published in different Urdu and English newspapers. He’s the main driving force behind my article, “Be the Change”. The title stems from a message which I had written to the youth for a Facebook post by American English for Educators. The compelling message touched the moderators who believed that the motivational sentences could get me into TED Talks. I shared it with Ayaz Morris on the very same day. The zestful & conscientious journalist suggested that I should write an article for a newspaper. I fulfilled his request. That’s how change made its way in my life through different individuals.

Some people wait for miracles to happen in their lives. Miracles will take place when you adapt to positive change and allow things to unfold by trusting yourself. Accept transformation and reframe situations by managing stress. Celebrate every positive action whether it’s big or small. Share your experiences with others. Your words can impact the hopeless and pessimists. Take the initiative to reach out to those who seek your help just as I did for my friend who needed relief services in her village in Matli-District Badin, Sindh during the monstrous floods. I am grateful to Kanwal Ahmed, Founder of Soul Sisters Pakistan, a renowned broadcast journalist, FehmidahYousffi, Pakistan Navy and all those ladies who came forward to make things easier for my friend, Sr. Samina Joseph. This was made possible through strong communication and networking.

Likewise, the youth needs to embrace positive change so that they can channelize their efforts for the betterment of Pakistan and shun unhealthy activities such as street crimes, cybercrime/ bullying, drug addiction etc. that are unethical and detrimental to the society. As Harriet Tubman rightly quotes:

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world”.

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