“The Best You Can Do Is to Be a Good Person”

Aleksandra is a 30 years old HR Specialist, a student of postgraduate studies of Business Mediations and Negotiations at Łazarski University. She is a graduate of Culture studies at Nicolai Copernicus University in Toruń and Political Studies and Diplomacy at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw. She has been working in HR for 4 years, but her first professional work was activity at non-government organizations, where she has spent over 9 years. She wishes her career will be related to diplomacy and mediations because she loves the multicultural environment and she is interested in politics.

Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!

A: I come from Poland, the country I love, but which I am worried about. Since we have the government ruled by the party of PiS, everything has changed.

I cannot say that I liked all decisions taken by previous government, but current political, but also social situation has dramatically worsened. The society is divided into pieces - those who support the government and those, who want to let them go. It is not only about the opposite views, but the quality of governing, treatment of people, legal standards and legality at all.

Poland was a country of very well developing democracy, which was moving quite slowly, but ahead. From 2015, all progress stopped and started to go back. Today we are around 30 years back. Why? It is a lot of reasons and a lot of areas to describe: education, which has been destabilized by reform (called "de-reform"), breaking the constitution by the president and prime minister and many of not legal activities used by the government. I mean the attack and destabilization of the Constitutional Court (almost all judges have been removed and changed by political judges), the attack for the Supreme Court and many other institutions, which criticize the behaviour of the government. Legal reforms are formed to destroy them and to make them subordinates. And the saddest is that the government is ruled in fact by only one person - Jarosław Kaczyński. He is currently the only politician and ahead of the party, but not even prime minister, who could take responsibility for what he does. He will never be judged by the tribunal state, he will not be judged at all. He has all government in his hands and rules as he is the only one in the world. Our good relations with our neighbours, partners and supporters are in ruins, no one trusts us anymore and all the world watches how the Polish democracy became a past. It is extremely sad and will take many years to rebuilt and fix the current anti-reforms and to make the society united again.

Hopefully, this process will start soon, I cannot wait for changes.

Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?

A: I see the world very diverse, but also divided into pieces. We have parts of the world, which are the example of peace, happiness (not only defined by being rich), but we also have parts of the world ruled by dictators and crazy leaders. I think that in Europe we observe a turn into nationalism, which may be very dangerous if it is not moderate and which is rather Nazi sometimes than patriotic. Even the world has a very serious problem again with the refugees seeking for shelter and who should be supported by other countries, I see that many of them try to turn back and pretend that nothing happened. The support of weaker and injured should be the natural reaction, but the history shows it is not true. Thankfully, we have some countries and international institutions, organizations and leaders, who constantly fight for a better world for those, who cannot help themselves.

My definition of a better world is a world ruled by good people, who take care of the whole world, not only a piece of cake they want to eat. We need to look around and support our neighbours, but also people living in the other side of the world. If we do not do it, this behaviour will come back to us one day and make the world sick again.

I want people to be kind and peaceful and caring about all aspects of life: environment, health and social relations. I believe, good leaders are able to make it happen. We just need more of them smile

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?

A: I think, the key challenges in my society are:

  • political ignorance of governing party (reforms are not for people, but for their personal (business) aspirations),
  • division of society and quarrels,
  • legal changes, which will need to be fixed (Supreme Court, Constitutional Court),
  • education - system, which is completely destabilized,
  • health system

Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?

  • Difficulty to find a job in my home city - Toruń (based on the lack of such places in the region, but also based on my activity in LGBT organization),
  • discrimination at my first university, the hostility of society
  • prolonged employment by agencies instead of standard employment (to hide employment in statistics)

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?

A: Exchange of knowledge and experience, which I cannot learn anywhere else. The positive attitude and equal treatment smile

Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?

A: I have learned that you can count only on yourself, but we need to treat every new person who we meet as a tabula rasa and to give a chance to be a colleague. I've learned that we should not stop trying to achieve our personal goals, even people around us do not understand it and don't know why they are doing it. If it is good, we should not give up.

Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!

A: I have many of them!

PAH - Polish Humanitarian Action Amnesty International, Budzik Foundation - helping people in a coma, Rak & roll - helping people with cancer, Lambda, KPH, Transfuzja and other LGBT organizations and many, many others smile

Q: What are some of the challenges that women in your country face and what efforts are made towards gender equality?

A: Lower salaries are still a fact, but I see efforts from corporate behaviours, not institutional, which became nepotic.

Q: Athena40 is the first ever global selection of the top 40 women forward thinkers, commentators, activists, authors, academics, entrepreneurs, executives, innovators. Can you think of a truly innovative and forward-thinking woman from your country that you wish to nominate for the Athena40 global list?

A: Janina Ochojska - PAH organization president, candidate to EU parliament Ewa Kopacz - former prime minister

Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!

A: Just never give up!

Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.

A: The best you can do is to be a good person and to share this being of a good person.