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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

You Have To Be The Change You Want To See

I have been reading the book ‘I am Malala’, the story of Malala Yousafzai, the young girl shot in Pakistan by the Taliban for going to school, I heard her speak at the UN at age 16 and heard her TV interviews. Like many around the world, I was captivated by her bravery and passion and so was inspired to read the book.

Malala comes from a poor family in a poor part of the world with extremely repressive conditions especially for woman. Malala did not see herself as the victim but rather as a vehicle for change. She learned this at home from her father who is an activist for many causes.

I saw a quote recently, “You have to be the change you want to see” and I thought yes I agree. People frequently ask me why I spend so much time doing JICNY and I feel it’s my responsibility to change the world in my little way. So too with special needs activism.

As New Year comes along I want to make resolutions that help change the world:

Like Malala’s father I want to lead by example for my children and I want them to see I passionately care about causes so they will also be individuals who want to contribute to society.

I want to know that in my own small way I contributed to the reversal of the trends described in the Pew study that shows our Jewish community is disappearing. I want to live an inspired and passionate Jewish life that not only makes sure my grandchildren will be Jewish but that I ignite love for Judaism in those around me.

Like Malala, each one of us has a voice and a vision and we can change our realities, our families and our communities.

Originally published: December 31, 2016


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