Our world is facing a lot of issues at the moment. I know, alert the media. Everyone already knows, right? Well judging by our actions, it wouldn’t seem that way. Wars are waged, people are dying from starvation or disease, our resources are dwindling, life on land and below water is dying out and yet people continue to sip their venti frappuccinos and looking the other way.
But it’s easy to do it. Some people live in areas that aren’t affected by these issues at all, in fact if you’re reading this, chances are you are too. We think ‘oh well there’s already so many other people doing something about these things, they will figure it out eventually. I have to focus on my life and make something out of myself’. But consider the reverse. Imagine if all of us had this mindset, that we couldn’t focus on ourselves until everybody in the world had the same freedom. Imagine if we all just contributed a little bit, to make the lives of others on this planet better. Imagine if we all summoned those leadership capabilities that dwell in every single one of us and actually made a difference. For one we could all sip those venti frappuccinos guilt free.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Leadership is not something that comes easily to everybody. In AIESEC we believe that a leader has to be a world citizen, empower others, be solution oriented and self aware. Sounds like a lot of things. The truth is, most of us already possess these traits, and even use them in our everyday lives. So how come we can’t apply them to make an impact?
The secret to realizing what to do with skills is your values. What do you stand for? What are your goals? What do you believe in? These are questions all of us have to ask ourselves sooner or later. So why not sooner.
Within AIESEC we have defined certain values that we believe are important for our members, from acting sustainably to living diversity. We believe that these values help our members to find the strength to do what they do and that combined with their personal values, empowers them to better the state of our world and its inhabitants.
Truth be told, nobody really does anything that doesn’t involve their values in some way. Even in your personal life. There is a famous quote by Elvis Presley that goes “Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave them all over everything you do”.
To capitalise on these values all we must do is identify them, embrace them and use them for the good of ourselves and others. Do you know your values?5