I just recently graduated high school and am about to embark on the newest and biggest chapter of my life thus far: college. As I consider what this next stage holds for me, I start to get overwhelmed because I have great aspirations to change the world and do big things, but the big question is: how?
This pressure I have put on myself has caused me to try to break down the process of change and figure out how exactly I can accomplish it. If you’re reading this blog, hopefully you have the same itch for social justice and overwhelming desire to change the world, so I want to share some of the things I have figured out along the way about sparking change.
The most important thing about making change is understanding that it’s not always the big actions. There is no single action or solitary effort that can directly change the world, so often times, the little things are what matter most.
Think about this: If one action can change one person’s life it can change their family. If it changes their family it can change a community. If it changes a community it can change a town. If it changes a town it can change a state, which can change a nation. If it can change a nation, it can change the whole world. It’s truly not always about the big steps, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can make big things happen. So focus on the small and the feasible.
While there are countless issues and people globally that could use fixing, it’s also important to recognize that there are also always issues and people locally who could use your help, too. Never underestimate simple acts of kindness or small acts of service because each and every thing you do has an effect on others, and it’s in your hands to determine if you’re going to affect those around you for the better.
But this isn’t to say that it’s impossible or entirely out of reach to inspire global change. Crossing borders and working in service of people outside of your community is equally effective and encouraged, but when these long distance efforts aren’t easily doable, it’s important to remember that there is still so much that could be done in your immediate surroundings as well.
The next thing about social justice and social change that should be recognized is that you don’t have to fight every fight. There are so many issues locally, nationally, and globally that need addressing, but knowing this could lead to the aforementioned overwhelming feeling and the stressful question: how on earth can I fix them all?
But while it is true that endless issues could use your attention, there is absolutely nothing wrong with not advocating for every cause or pushing for change for every issue. It can seem like you’re not doing enough if you don’t have a stance on every single issue, but your efforts are important and every step you take for however many issues does not go unnoticed.
When going about taking action, even though baby steps are simpler than drastic changes, it still can be difficult to figure out what actions you can take to help influence the issues you’re passionate about.
Here are some simple ways you can make a difference for the causes you care about:
1. Talk about it!! Spreading awareness goes a long way, so start conversations! Get more people to understand and join your side!
2. Educate yourself. You can always keep learning more about what you’re fighting for so you can always be well-informed when taking your stance.
3. Write to your local Congress representative or Senator. Share your thoughts and try to draw the attention of elected officials to your cause.
4. Volunteer! Find organizations or groups interested in the same causes you are and see how you can join their efforts!
Whatever cause you’re advocating for, and however big or small your steps are, thank you for everything you’re doing to push us in the direction of positive change. Your voice and your actions matter!