Proof that a small personal act of conviction can make a big difference

One night an Israeli designer posted on facebook a poster of himself and his daughter with a bold message: “Iranians … we [heart] you.” And a massive unplanned ‘peace-in-the-middle-east’ movement happened.

But I’m writing not about the politics; this story reminded me that what matters first and foremost is a personal conviction. This guy didn’t plan to create an online movement; he didn’t sit there planning a change story. He just did what he thought was right, and other people responded.

We often seem to think that to enable change, we need complex systems, large teams, sophisticated processes and a lot of time. That is true for many unjust things in the world, but it’s also true that you can have an instant impact. Small things can make a big difference. Even if policies don’t change, mindsets do, and this is what’s most important. No amount of processes will replace personal conviction and integrity.

It’s the small acts of courage that make all the difference. Sometime they snowball into something bigger (and nowadays with social technology it’s all the more often), and sometimes it’s a lone flash. But these personal stands we take, I believe they always push our world to a better place, even if at nano-speed.

To enable change, the first step is to live true to our values – in everyday acts, where it matters most, where it inspires our neighbours as well as strangers; and not reserve it for the big stage. Thank you, Ronny Edry, for reminding me about this.