My challenge to myself

Perhaps now is the time to trade remorse for activity; to do something positive. This is the challenge that I’m going to set myself.

What’s important

If the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our world is one community; we’re all in this together.  Lockdown has also given us the time and space to think about our place on this planet, to consider what’s important and what’s simply noise.

In the last few months we’ve discovered socially distanced friendships with neighbours we’ve never met, appreciated our dedicated frontline workers, posted hand-painted rainbows on our windows and clapped furiously on Thursday evenings to thank those who risk their lives to care for us.

And yet, amongst this new-found hope for humanity, we’ve recently found ourselves dipping into the dark despair of inequality, prejudice and hate.

We all have a part to play

I believe that we all have a part to play in calling out intolerance and bigotry, in all its forms - whether it’s racism, religious intolerance, sexism, class discrimination, derision of life-choices, homophobia or discrimination against people with disabilities.

It’s not good enough to be a passive bystander; silence leads to the principled majority being dominated by the few with the loudest voices. By being silent we enable and give power to the bigot.  It’s also not about being able to earnestly tick the box that states, ‘I am not a racist’.  We need to live our beliefs every single day by shining a light on our own actions and inactions, our attitudes and our behaviours.  I include myself in this, perhaps I’ve been too accepting of the status-quo at times – passively believing that the world was never going to be fair.  Maybe I put my head in the sand.  I ignored what I thought I couldn’t change and focused on what I could.

Change is possible

However, the last couple of weeks have shown me that change is possible and that we should never tire of challenging inequality.   I’ve been overwhelmed by the response of the general public to the death of George Floyd; it feels like we are on the cusp of a level of social consciousness that we’ve never seen before.  There’s an energy and an appetite for change that we need to build on; to ensure that it’s sustainable when we all go back to our everyday lives. It’s just intensely sad that it’s taken a tragedy like this to galvanise us.

My challenge

We all need a bit more empathy for our fellow human beings, treating others as we want to be treated ourselves.  Feeling remorseful for injustices is not going bring about change, but being able to relate to another individual’s rights and protecting them will.  So, perhaps now is the time to trade remorse for activity; to do something positive.  This is the challenge that I’m going to set myself.

Change must happen

I’m lucky that I work in Brighton; a city that celebrates diversity and is a colourful, beautiful reminder of the joy of being an individual.  We saw this at the weekend, with 10,000 people peacefully observing a minute of silence in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.  It was a moment where people came together, to recognise that change must happen.  It has left me with hope, but we can always do more – and we should.  I can always do more and I will.

Let’s not waste this.

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Teddy Nyahasha is CEO at OneFamily. He's a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and when he's not enjoying Brighton beach in the sun with his kids, he can be found indulging in some DIY projects at home.