Change can be fragile if it is based on one person – you need a group to secure long term change. Is this true? I heard this phrase in a film the other day when a woman was talking about the barriers that had been set up to prevent women from worshipping in the same space as men within some mosques. There were physical barriers but also mental and social barriers that had been erected.
The religion of Islam does, I believe, view women as spiritual equals. The changes that have occurred over time in many mosques are reflected within society as a whole.
Women are viewed as fragile beings, but as a section of society we are still viewed with awe and fear because of the apparent power that we have. A supposed egalitarian society will do all it can to disempower, subjugate, and segregate women from main society. This is achieved with language, space and general economics: women are usually not counted in global economics.
Marilyn Waring said, “Economics is the tool of the people in power.” This is because economics is about language as well as maths – it decides what is included and excluded. Economics is similar – in that respect – to the physical barriers that have been erected in many mosques and public spaces throughout the world.
When societies continue to act like this it leads to the degeneration of that society. Poverty is the result of this systematically negative action: poverty of all people.
Searching for a change in the structure if society is like searching for the lost ark ... it goes on for decades without getting any closer to finding the missing piece.
How do we get to a position where change is possible and sustainable? I believe that all changes in society start within one person. When that one person changes their heart and life it is like the ripple effect, it just keeps spreading.
Gandhi was one such person, Mother Theresa another, Martin Luther King yet another example. I could name scores of people who have made tremendous changes in society because they believed in something different. People such as Malcolm X, Oprah Winfrey, Rosa Parks, Billie Holliday, Muhammad Ali, Barack Obama, and Nelson Mandela.
I could add myself to that list. I could add you to that list.
We can all make a change in society by acting on the beliefs that are in our heart. We are the change that we are waiting to happen.
When the heart changes the condition of the people changes.
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” Quran