Be A Stormtrooper

Create change! Make a difference! Be a radical!

Be a stormtrooper!

Yes, you read that correctly.

No, not a Jedi. A stormtrooper.

Yes, that feels counterintuitive, but hear me out: if you have seen Star Wars The Force Awakens, you will remember Finn.

We are introduced to Finn as FN-2187, but during a massacre on Jakku he had an epiphany, realising what he was ordered to do was wrong. He defected from the First Order, and helped Poe Dameron escape. You’ll probably know the rest of the story, and you’ll know that Finn’s action helped change his own destiny (oh yes classic Star Wars reference).

So why aren’t I encouraging you to go forth and be a Jedi? They are super awesome, with super cool powers, and LIGHT SABRES! They have Jedi mind tricks too, so no laborious campaigning and influencing for them….”These are not the policies you are looking for,” while waving your hand enigmatically.

While we are all extraordinary in our own way, Jedi are extra-special. They are an unattainable ideal. The super-elite of the galaxy. Stormtroopers are normal folk. They don’t have magic powers.

Stormtroopers do what they can with what they have.

I was inspired to write this post by a particular slide in a presentation by Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chair of the Maternity Transformation Board, during a recent event at the King’s Fund.

I am passionate about making change happen. I am committed to making a difference.

Through this blog, and campaigning via #HugosLegacy and #MatExp, I have been striving to transform attitudes to bereaved parents. I have challenged taboos, openly discussed issues traditionally trampled beneath the weight of stigma.

As Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts wrote in the recent Huffington Post article The New-Style Radicalism of Parenting Bloggers (in which I received a kind mention), digital media has huge power. Blogging in particular is “…a powerful agent for solidarity, support and even societal change.”

So, anyone can be a stormtrooper.

Anyone can break ranks. Anyone can be an activist. Anyone can get out there and make a difference to whatever is important to them, with the skills and resources they already have.

Making a change involves taking a leap in to the unknown. It can be scary, it can make you feel vulnerable, and you are likely to come across opposition.

During “Oh my God why I can’t I keep my mouth shut this is scary” moments (of which I have many), I like to bear in mind that

Right is right even if no one is doing it, and wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.

Such a call to action is especially pertinent today, in the aftermath of the US election.

Don’t just talk about things, shake your head, wish things were different and forget about the issue as soon as the news agenda moves on to the next big story.

Have courage. Be brave.

If you truly care about something, get out there and make positive change happen.

Many of us are comfortable with rank, order, hierarchies, and systems. It’s secure, we can be reassured that we know what is likely to come next and predictable outcomes.

But it is when we take a step out of them that great things happen.

You don’t have to create change alone – social media is amazing for connecting like-minded people. Look at #MatExp, for example. Join a social movement that is relevant to your goals and interests, or even a political party.

But do something, act. Commenting and venting on social media is great for getting things off your chest and boosting solidarity, but it does precious little to create actual change.

Remember:

The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.

So go out and be a stormtrooper.

May the Force be with you.

2 Comments on Be A Stormtrooper

  1. Toni Harman
    November 14, 2016 at 8:13 pm (4 months ago)

    Fabulous post. The force is strong in this one.

    Reply
  2. Jeannine
    November 12, 2016 at 1:35 pm (5 months ago)

    Great post Leigh…feel the force…

    Reply

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