Salma from our Editorial Team shares a rousing speech with Bolingbroke students about the type of powerful people who should be or role models. Salma was interviewed about her piece by Jennifer:
What made you write about the topic of power?
I wanted to be able to spread awareness on the privilege of power and how it affects our everyday lives. I wanted to ensure that readers have a clear understanding on the difference between leadership and power and how they both have contrasting effects on others.
Why did you choose Jacinda Ardern as an example of leadership?
Not only does Jacinda tackle being a woman in an industry that is predominantly male, but she has also done a lot more in her position of power than most male world leaders. She brought New Zealand together after a tragic terrorist attack. She implored other world leaders to work together at a UN conference saying, "What if we no longer see ourselves based on what we look like, what religion we practice, or where we live, but by what we value? Humanity. Kindness. An innate sense of our connection to each other." She is the person we should be able to see in both a leader and a person in power.
What is the main message you want your readers to know?
I want my Bolingbroke students to acknowledge the power they have as youths and as the future of this planet. We have power every day: the power to influence others and to bring hope in this ever-evolving world. We must also recognise the responsibilities that come with our influence. As young people in this world, we must use our influence in positive ways, to bring change, hope and justice. To be able to fight for something far greater than ourselves and for others that cannot have the same privilege as us. You become a leader once you right the wrongs to benefit someone other than yourself.
“The faces of young people are the faces of our past, our present and our future!”
To be a young person in this society, we too have power and responsibility. We have the power to influence change to the world around us. To be able to produce new ideas, to be able to bring hope and creativity to the world. We live in a time that offers us a lot of benefits to empower everyone around the world.
Throughout history, we have seen those appointed to positions of power often bend or break the rules completely and the people of that population face the consequences. Almost 100 years ago, the world underwent a world war because a man decided to abuse the power he was given over a country. Over the last four years, America held their breath as they saw President Trump create new laws which affected many people, particularly those of colour, negatively. The police are enforced to protect society and are given certain power over civilians. However, in recent months, it has come to light that this power has frequently been abused.
Let's think about it: power and leadership are not the same. People such as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand are seen as leaders who have a positive influence on their country. After the country suffered a terrorist attack, she was first to respond and unify the nation. She also fought to close the gender pay gap and implored world leaders to come together at the UN general assembly and tackle Climate Change. She holds power AND leadership. Isn’t this the type of person you want to run a country?
We have that collective power in us. We can unite as a people in order to fight for social justice and social responsibility. You have the voice to lead people into realising their own individual power. This power, banded together by a community or nation, can bring great and positive influences on the world.
You have the power to influence those around you. Will it be for your own benefit or for the greater good? You decide.