What would you do if you could change the world?

What would you do if you could change the world?

My second speech at Toastmasters International with the aim to structure clearly:

“Jim asked me last week what I would do if I could change the world and I’ve been thinking about this for some time. What would you do if you could change the world? Actually I believe that we can already change it. I can change the world. You can change the world. Without any conditional.

I believe each and everyone of us can make an impact. The world is me and all that surrounds me. Without entering in any religious context or talking about World Wars and natural catastrohpes, I do believe that we have the power to change our environment. We are impacting the world every second we breath, we just have to look carefully and maybe direct our actions more consciously.

Tonight I would like to give you three examples that I believe make a difference and change the world. They are so tiny that we often overlook them and do not notice another person changing our world.

1. Enabling other people

2. Sharing without expecting

3. Taking only what is necessary

These are just three small statements that we can interpret as broadly as we want.

1. Enabling other people

A parent encourages his or her child to reach the highest heights, an employer gives his team confidence and tools to take decisions autonomously and even thought on a wider scale we enable others through education. Enabling other people means trusting in their capacity, it means giving all necessary ressources like information to succeed and being there to coach from the sidelines. Enabling means giving another person the power to achieve something.

Instead of building deep wells in Ghana, we should teach one another how to construct them and how to best treat our water ressources.

I was empowered in my work by Bernat, our CEO. We met about two and a half years ago through a friend as he was searching for somebody fluent in Italian and German to do some website translation and to write blogposts. I started working remotely, exchanging emails and talking through skype with Bernat. This way I got more involved. I flew to Barcelona for a weekend and by Sunday evening decided to move there completely. Bernat has encouraged me to continue my journey further, he believed in me and gave me all necessary tools to succeed when I started coordinating other bloggers, when I set up our European customer support center and later, when I lead all marekting activities. He enabled me to do this like a sport’s coach giving me training and then standing on the sidelines cheering me on.

Similar to enabling somebody else by believing or encouraging him, we could share with one another without looking for any return. Without keeping score of the favors.

So the second statement for tonight is

2. Sharing without expecting

I think we should trust and confine in whoever sourrounds us and share what we have without expecting any return. Sharing for the joy of contributing and participating.

Sharing can mean a dinner in your house, an open source software on github or even knowledge, trust and transparency between two neighboring countries.

My sister always gives to me without expecting anything in return: This weekend I was feeling down, frustrated about all that is so different here in Chile and sad to be far away from friends, family and the sense of home. She let me vent, even though she could not offer any solution. She listened patiently even though for her it was pretty late at night and she told me that she blieved that I was strong enough to make a new home and that I would feel at ease soon. She showed me that I had done so in other cities before and that just like that I would find a new home here in Chile.

These are very simple gestures that we sometimes forget to appreciate. Taking each others hand when feeling nervous, high fiving after a great speech or simply listening attentively are little things we can share with each other.

Just as careful as we are about giving, we should be about taking. Taking only what we really need. That is my third statement for tonight:

3. Taking only what is necessary

Be conscious of your needs and desires and those of others and take what’s necessary to fulfill them but not more. You can think about it in terms of a buffett: You can take everything that you want, but you don’t need to. You won’t have a bigger appetite than you usually do just because every possible dish is there. You can look at it like in a relationship: don’t drain the person that cares for you or void them of all their energies. And you can even take a larger approach to it: Materialism and Capitalism.

Do we need all the things that we have?

Traveling through Nicaragua I met Nacho who taught me this through his wordchoice in conversation, his agricultural and nutritional style and through his actions. He is a very relaxed and peaceful person: He talked and shared a lot of his thoughts with us but he did not take more of our attention than needed, meaning he was clear in his words and intents and he gave others room to speak as well.

He planted his own fruits and vegetables and hardly threw any food away. He didn’t take presumptous baths in his jungle hot tub but rather reused the water from the shower for the toilet or once filtered for his garden.

These are just three small statements that you can interpret however you want. I think the most important of all is the knowledge that Ghandi transmits us when stating “We are the change we want to see in the world”.

He says that if we change ourselves we will change our world, not only because we are now viewing our environment through new lenses of thought but also because the change within can allow us to take actions in ways we wouldn’t have before.

So my answer to Jim tonight is that I believe I and we already try to change the world by empowering others, sharing without expecting and taking only what is needed.

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