What happened to independence? And independent thinking? What happened to doing things for yourself, getting on with it and making a difference from the ground up? When did people start feeling it was okay to sit at home, do nothing, and play the blame game?

These days, everything seems to be the fault of our governments, the authorities, the powers that be. But who voted them in (or, even worse, didn’t vote at all?). Why is it never ‘our fault’? And even more importantly, why aren’t people doing something about it?

I can’t stand people who are card-carrying, couch potato, complainers. You know who I mean – they’re the ones on your Facebook feed who will use any excuse, any event big or small, to criticse. In the past few days, I’ve seen protests about the lack of media coverage of the Beirut bombings (your social media feed is NOT a news source. If you had shared and promoted the story, maybe the media would have gone all out!); Facebook’s inability to overlay the flag of Kenya on one’s profile picture (do it yourself. It’s not hard!); the culpability of God in the recent attacks (seriously? When was the last time you prayed?)

Look, I chose this career because I wanted, in some small way, to make a difference. My motivation is to inspire others, and by sharing stories of those who are doing something unique, charitable or community-based, I hope to encourage and enthuse. It was the same when I was teaching: you just hope that something you’ve said to one of your students might just make a positive difference in their lives – a difference which, one day, might impact others for the better. It’s not a lot, but it’s what suits my abilities – as an introvert, I would be highly ineffective at leading a crowd; as someone who hates hospitals, I’d be worse than useless in a first-aid, on-the-scene situation!

But at no point have I ever sat back and said “I feel strongly about this, and someone should do something”. That someone is me! It’s my job to right a wrong, to educate, to inform, to inspire… If I believe the powers that be are doing a bad job, it’s up to me to gather support, and make a difference. At the end of the day, our governments, media, authorities are just people. Like us. They’re people who are trying to do their job. If you don’t like it, change it. Just don’t ascribe to the blame game. It’s easy to lash out at faceless entities for not doing enough. But remember this: change starts at home. So go forth and inspire, help, motivate, educate and inform. There’s always something you can do to help. The real question isn’t why our authorities aren’t stepping up. It’s why we aren’t.