‘What would you change if you were president’ is such an interesting and intriguing question to ask. It says a lot about a person, what they have gone through and what they believe in. Of course, I have also thought about this question, so here is what my fictional land would look like if I were president (and ethics and money were not in question).
The first thing I would do is ban handshakes. Yes, I know that these are important to establish a personal or professional connection. But the truth is, I have always hated them, probably because I’m a little germaphobic. I would make it the norm to never shame introverts or shy people, never shame someone on their (healthy) diet choices and make Honesty the most important value. Furthermore, everyone can dress however they want, for example, wearing pink or dresses as a male would be normalized and nothing is too overdressed.
There is also a lot to change in school and the professional working field. Every memory-based test is banned, history and sociological courses are primary subjects, more video and visual based learning instead of only books, therapists in every school and company, every Wednesday off and you can take a mental health day off. Furthermore, there should be more funding into international trips so children can learn more about other cultures and explore the world. Now, this one is controversial, but every school and company should have a diversity quota (to what extent that is possible). As someone who grew up in the most diverse environment ever and now see friends who did not, I would never want to take that precious experience away from anyone.
Now, we are going to look into the media field. Bad and negative news should only make up to 40% of the entire news. It has been proven that hearing constant bad news influences the mental state of people and can increase depression and anxiety. Media and news are always around us and have a much bigger impact on us than most think. People forget that there is so much good in the world that is also worth hearing about. A maximum of 5 percent of the market should be owned by one person or company and yet again, a diversity quota should be set in the media industry (especially with analysts on tv).
I would try my best to keep peace and good relations with other countries. I would easily be able to put my pride aside instead of sending millions of my own citizens away to die in a war to defend it. I would try to drastically decrease nationalism. All immigrants are welcome everywhere because we don’t put imaginary borders over humanity. I would make an elaborate plan with other countries to fight climate change, not only for my own country, but for all. Vegan lifestyle will be promoted and rewarded. Lastly, products made by child labour or people who work for below the minimum wage are banned.
No one should ever be made fun of for the way they look or choose to look. In my fictional land I would try to get rid of a general beauty standard, even though I know it is almost impossible to avoid. That is why there is a diversity quota in all the media, so that more diverse types of beauty can be appreciated as the standard.
Now, you might read about the fictional land I would lead and think ‘Wow, Rashmi, no offense, but I would never ever step foot on that land.’ And that is totally understandable and okay. I think you can guess that most of the ‘rules’ come from my own experiences and personality. Some of the implementations in the country might sound ridiculous to you because you happen to have more knowledge about a certain topic and realize that my approach doesn’t make sense. All of these reasons are exactly why I am definitely not ready to be a president and drag people along in something they don’t want. If we look at leaders today, we keep seeing that they are too busy conveying their own ideas and messages to the people that they forget to actually listen. They often only want to be a leader to gain power to execute and spread their ideas. However, a real leader is the one that can put their own thoughts aside and really listen to the people. A good leader listens, follows and compromises for the sake of a group. It’s not the people that serve and listen to the leader, but the leader who serves and listens to the people.
Author: Rashmi Baldew
Editor: Phoebe Elliott
Visuals by: Alisa Mahaletska