New Internationalist

How To Change Your Life

July 1982

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CHANGE [image, unknown] How to change your life

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How to change your life
'Corporate executives work hard. Peasant organisers work hard. So must we…'
One activist's answer to the perennial question 'What can I do?' But hard work is not everything. The Institute for Food and Development Policy* discovered six important lessons shared by people working for change.

1. BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE Ask what you can do now. Play the hand you are dealt.
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2. LEARN HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES Anger can be important. If you are fighting someone else's oppression and inequality, find out what it feels like.
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3. BE SELF-CRITICAL Action and analysis must got together. Think what you are doing and be prepared to admit when you are wrong.
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4. DO NOT BURN YOURSELF OUT Strike a balance between work and play. Don't be guilty about taking time out to enjoy yourself.

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5. BELIEVE IN CHANGE Do not protect yourself from uncertainty. Periodic loneliness and self-doubt are facts of a changing life.
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6. ASK A BIG ENOUGH QUESTION "If you expect to see the final results of your work you have not asked a big enough question." I.F. Stone.
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* What can we do? A Food, Land, Hunger Action Guide by William Valentine and Frances Mooore Lappe, IFDP, 1980.

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Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 113 This feature was published in the July 1982 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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