NOTE: sorry about the weird typeface - not sure what happened with the copy/paste feature in my browser. :) This was taken from a post James Pearson (Acholi Beads, Choice Mob, WikiChoice) recently wrote for Plywood People. I thought it was incredibly inspiring.
Let’s not change the world. Let’s not end poverty or wipe human trafficking from the globe. Let’s not put an end to global warming or empty the landfills. And let’s stop trying to eradicate malaria and treat every HIV and tuberculosis patient in the world. Instead of changing the world, let’s change our daily routines. Let’s all knock a minute off of our showers and turn a few lights out when we don’t need them. Let’s ride bikes to work when we can, or look into carpooling and public transport. And let’s choose jobs that we believe in, because they uphold our values. Instead of wiping out various diseases or ending human trafficking, let’s each pick an organization that we believe in and support them as best we can. And when the need comes, let’s all take the two minutes to make a phone call to our senators. And instead of treating all the patients in the world, let’s each meet one and make sure he gets the treatment he needs. And let’s forget trying to get rid of poverty. Instead let’s each build a connection with one poor person, or one poor community, and learn how we might give them a hand. And when people ask us what we’re doing, let’s be sure to tell them that we’re not changing the world, we’re just changing ourselves, and hopefully helping a couple others do the same. And when first they hear that from one of us, and then another, and another, they might begin to wonder if the whole world is changing around them.
I think what he has to say definitely holds weight. Instead of targeting multiple issues, target one - find one issue you know you can fully support and believe in - and dig deep. Take the time necessary to develop skills needed in that area. Research. Collaborate. Advocate. And above all - be authentic. Don't claim you're going to change how you live or try and get others to do something you aren't willing to do yourself. How will I change myself? Well, I mentioned in this post how I plan to use as little electricity as possible and turn the AC up a few notches. I'm also going to head knee deep into fighting human trafficking - SheDances is an incredible organization I know I can fully support and give my attention and talents to help them rescue girls at risk for trafficking. And I won't stop sharing. I won't stop talking about the 27 million slaves in the world and the 2 children every minute being sold into some type of slavery. I will finish my novel about how this industry even seeps into the shadows of America. And most of all, I will continue to advocate for my students. I will continue to push for service learning within the classroom and research what it would take to truly have educational reform in our country - so every student knows he or she can effectively create change within themselves and in turn, change those around them. Students NEED to know they can effectively create change within themselves. And we can do this by restructuring how we approach the secondary classroom. Life is exciting. Too much is happening for us to actively capture their attention through strict lectures and worksheets. Education hasn't changed - at all. We need to meet the world where it's at in order to properly encourage these kids towards success.
So here's my question to you: how are you going to change yourself?