As coursework and exam season is in full swing, the daunting and exciting prospect that the academic year is almost coming to an end has us at Impact Features thinking: what would we like to see in the future? Our contributors have compiled a selection of various things that they hope to see change in the coming years…
What I wish would happen in the future is that kindness becomes the norm. We as a society often tell one another that we need to have thick skin to be able to function in daily life and take on whatever hardships come our way. However, on occasion the idea seems to serve as an absolution of emotional or physical abuse that is considered trivial enough (such as bullying or insensitive comments); supposedly, had the abused person developed their required thick skin for everyday life in modern society, they would not have been as affected by the abuse as they end up being.
“We should also be encouraged to be kinder to one another”
We all should, no doubt, work on being strong and resilient. But instead of encouraging strength of character only, we should also be encouraged to be kinder to one another. It is a good thing to remain unaffected by small (yet often powerful) bad things that happen to us, but that doesn’t make their impact any less significant. After all, just because one knows how defend himself in a fight, for example, doesn’t mean he should be required to exercise those skills on a regular basis.
It is kindness that should be the main aspiration of the future society.
I want to see a world where sexism, discrimination and toxic masculinity is unimaginable. A world where women aren’t called “emotional” for expressing themselves and men can freely express emotion without having to “be a man”. A world without slut-shaming, rape myths and pussy-grabbing misogynists. A world that doesn’t value women by their weight, body image and sex appeal. A world with more positive female role models in the media and less skinny-shake promoters, who encourage body shame.
“Not be afraid of “pro-life” laws that prohibit women’s choice”
I want our daughters to feel happy, empowered and safe. To feel more than their bodies, weight or colour. To assess their worth by their accomplishments, success and compassion for others. To be able to decide what they do with their bodies. Not scared of being sexually harassed or degraded. Not be afraid of “pro-life” laws that prohibit women’s choice. Not accused of being too “bossy” for embracing leadership.
I want our sons to play with Barbies if they want to! To feel they can talk about their feelings and not hide them until it’s too late. To know that no means no. I want a future that is inclusive, equal and respectful, not held back by stereotypes.
In the future (and I’m talking 10 years or so down the line), I see myself waking up every day not feeling like it is a chore to go to work, and not spending my entire day looking forward to going home just so I can watch TV and sleep! I hope that I will be doing things, and not comparing my life to others, and actually be achieving my goals.
I hope to have a routine and active lifestyle, one that is exciting and full of challenges—because challenges require hard-work, and hard-work means exerting your mental and physical energy to test yourself, and to test my own strength daily, to see what I am capable of achieving. I hope that I will be constantly visiting new cities, restaurants, doing new activities with my friends and family to step outside of our bubble. I visualise happiness and excitement, sunny days even when the sun doesn’t shine, and success from just blissfully living!
The change I would most like to see in the future is a shift in the way we use social media. Don’t get me wrong, the creation of platforms like Facebook and Instagram have transformed our lives and often for the better. Not only do they allow us to talk to people all around the world, we’re also able to share media easily with just the click of a few buttons. However, these positives also bring with them a lot of negatives. Snapchat with its instantaneous message deletion, for example, has been known to be dangerous in the hands of vulnerable young people. Similarly, Twitter and Instagram, with their main purpose being to follow celebrity inspirations, begin a downwards spiral on our self-confidence.
“Social media causes us to waste so much of our days”
At the very least, social media causes us to waste so much of our days endlessly scrolling, either awaiting the latest juicy update or hoping for the validation a few more ‘likes’ will provide. So much of our lives are now spent engaging in the ironically unsociable task of refreshing apps instead of interacting with those immediately around us. I’m not saying we should all suddenly boycott social media like the plague, but it would be nice to see it better used in moderation and giving it less power in controlling our day-to-day lives!
Whilst reflecting upon the future, many things come to mind: a world governed by love rather than war, a more sustainable planet, global equality… Granted, these are not things that can be achieved over night and admittedly are all somewhat cliché goals, but working towards these things in any way we can, however seemingly miniscule, should be something we all strive to do. Something that encompasses all the aforementioned hopes is very simple, that is, kindness.
Kindness towards ourselves, and others, whilst easily achievable, is something that is often overlooked; you can truly never know how much a small act of kindness can have a knock-on positive effect, which is why it is so important to be aware of the decisions you make, the attitudes you possess, and the way you interact with others. In the future, I hope to see a world in which people are more conscientious, taking care of the planet and everything that inhabits it… If we all spread a little more love and kindness for one another, we may find ourselves living in a much brighter and fulfilling future.
Shanai Momi, Kateryna Vine, Sophie Gordon, Natasha Manohar, Georgina Pittman and Alana Mckenna
Please read part 1 of the article here.