"Don't go for new year's resolutions ... Instead, think about acting collectively, whether for small goals or big. Go for a new year's revolution instead." Jenna Price, an academic at the University of Technology Sydney
The last couple of years have heralded a lot of talk from social commentators, inspirers and influencers, about reframing our thinking when it comes to new year resolutions. The paradigm shift sees a one-letter change but a significant change in our mindset. Moving from resolution to revolution immediately invokes a greater sense of action, of collective desire and urgency.
As we all look and feel aghast at the utter devastation across the Tasman, the raging Australian bushfires continue to wreak havoc on the environment. The scale of loss on animal and human life, on the greater environment and ecological systems remains incomprehensible. There can be no doubt that the time for a global revolution is nigh. Many would say it's long overdue. We require a revolution that begins with each individual being activated by their belief that they can make a difference. The human response to the crisis in Australia has been immense in its relentless kindness, positive action and generosity. That knitters and crafters the world over are making items to aid with animal rescue, that firefighters from around the globe have committed themselves to risk on the front line of fire, and that neighbours and strangers have taken in folk who have lost their homes, demonstrates our desire for collective change. Let's keep the momentum going, because whether we believe it or not, our world is in crisis.
Some years ago, on a flight back to Auckland from San Francisco, I had the good fortune to sit next to one of the world's leading researchers in climate change. His area of specialty was flood plains and glacial retreat. In his day job he worked at the University of Pennsylvania, mentoring engineering students on a revolutionary way of looking at town planning and urban design that enables towns and cities to reclaim their natural environments, moving town centre development away from riversides. This approach to environmental engineering was based on his years of research into the impact of climate change with longitudinal studies in the Arctic Circle, as well as in the South Island, where he has monitored and mapped glacial retreats over three decades. Over the course of 10 hours on our flight I participated in one of the most life-changing conversations I have ever had.
I was profoundly reminded that we are at the tipping point, and that every action we take has the power to make a difference. Everything we do, individually and collectively, can result in the revolution that we need. We just gotta keep believing in it.
The World Health Organisation has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. As a women's organisation, we work in partnership with the New Zealand College of Midwives, and play an important role in maternity quality and safety in the Whanganui district. We will continue doing what we can to raise awareness about the value of midwifery and nursing in a New Zealand context. In recent times this has revealed the reality of pay inequity in professions that are female-oriented, and midwives still await the true outcome of a long-fought pay equity case.
2020 is shaping up to be a year of many revolutions as the world continues to turn. Look out for our own revolution in the form of La Fiesta, New Zealand's only women's festival, co-ordinated by the Women's Network, starring women [and some fellas too] from home and abroad. It all kicks off on February 9 and runs for a whole month right through to International Women's Day on March 8. Festival guides are out now, available in hard copy, and online at: lafiestanz.com.