How to Make the World a Better Place

Erin Chun, A&E Editor

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The youth are constantly regarded with contempt, reminded of their insignificance in the world and seen as inferior to adults whose opinions are often deemed to be more significant. Although adolescents may feel powerless in a world in troubled times, there are things that anyone can do to make a positive impact on humanity, no matter how small the action may seem. Listed below in no particular order are ways you can make a difference in your community.

  1. If you are under the age of 18, you may not be legally allowed to vote, but you can still call your local representatives, write to your senators, and contact those in authority to voice your opinions and call for change. If you are over 18 and do have the ability to vote, please register to vote! Although it may seem like you are one, insignificant voice among a sea of countless others, participating in elections and political debates will make a difference. Without the amalgamation of millions of individuals coming together to see their ideas become reality, the world would have never seen any change.
  2. Donate money to someone in need on GoFundMe (or other online platforms that enable people to raise funds), charities, or people in compromising financial situations. I understand that not everyone has the resources or money available to do be able to this, but it is an option if you do happen to.
  3. Volunteer to help an organization – your community most likely has a plethora of libraries, shelters, schools, etc. that are in need of help, and are sure to appreciate any aid.
  4. Simple acts of kindness can go a long way. Open the door for people. Pick trash you find. Sit with someone who is all alone at lunch. Compliment people. These are all basic actions of kindness that we have all been taught to do since we were young, but take a moment to seriously consider how many of these you actually do. No matter how small the action, the world can use any amount of kindness available.
  5. Pick up the litter around you. If you spot a candy wrapper lying on the floor or notice a disregarded empty water bottle near you, throw it away or put it in a recycling bin, if one is available. It will only take a few seconds, and, although it seems trivial, if everybody worked together to take better care of our planet and stopped treating earth like a personal garbage disposal, our environment would be significantly less contaminated with human activity.
  6. Get educated! Sometimes, we may be misinformed of certain topics and therefore have a strong opinion about said subject without knowing all the facts available. Education is one of the greatest ways to combat injustice and if everyone put in the effort to understand and learn, I believe we could have a planet of intelligent, empathetic individuals. If someone you know is deaf, try to learn some sign language. If a friend is a reciprocate of DACA, try to research more about it rather than having a preconceived prejudice already formed. If someone is of a different ethnicity than you, get educated about their culture instead of believing ingrained stereotypes about them. Instead of believing all that the media says about politics and giving into the mass hate that the internet makes too easily spread, research the validity of statements before coming to a conclusion based on biased articles you stumble across.

We are not as powerless as the world may want you to believe. We have infinite potential and the tangible ability to enact real change. Whether it be through your small acts of humanity, or greater attempts to make the world a better place, we can do it. The youth have always been the ones historically to create the biggest uproar and protest for what they believe to be right instead of shying away from the negative ramifications that could occur from their cries and protests. At the age of 17, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to ever win a Noble Peace Prize. The high school victims of the Florida shooting have created a nationwide discussion about the issue of the prevalence of gun violence in America. Student activism is one of the most notable factors about the Vietnam War. Joan of Arc, an iconic symbol of heroism, was only 19 when she died. When the world insists that we can’t create change, we prove them over and over again that we can. We are the future.

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How to Make the World a Better Place