Join a Team
So, you want to change the world. Chances are you probably can’t do it alone—nor would you want to. After all, most things are more fun when you do them with other people. The best way to practice working together is by joining a team. You’ll make new friends, feel part of the group, and have some fun. You’ll learn how to be a gracious winner or loser, share with others, handle it when you don’t get your way, be there for others when they need it, and get along with people who you might not normally hang out with.
There are many sports teams you could try out, but don’t get down on yourself if you’re not the athletic type. There are also dance teams, academic teams, student governments, newspapers, choirs, volunteer organizations, and many others. Or, start your own club!
Stand Up for Justice
Have you ever gotten into trouble for something you didn’t do? Then you’ve experienced injustice, or something that isn’t fair. Injustice happens every day, in small ways and in big ways, like when entire groups of people are treated unfairly or unequally due to things like their race, gender, or religion.
It takes real courage to speak up when you see injustice, when that little voice inside you says, “Hey, that’s not right.” So, if you see someone being picked on or treated like they’re different or less than other people, find a safe way to say or do something. That might mean speaking to a teacher, coach, parent, or school counselor. Or it might mean saying to whoever’s being mistreated, “I’m sorry that happened. You didn’t deserve it.
I support you.”
“Be the change that you
wish to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi, social activist
Think of yourself as an investigator—someone whose job it is to figure out how stuff works and why things are the way they are. Always be on the lookout for new leads, new explanations, and new information.
Curiosity is a seed, which when watered with research, blooms into discovery. Let yourself wonder and ask all the questions you have—like “How?” “Why?” “Who?” “What?”—until you find the answers you’re looking for.
Walk the Talk
This is simple. Avoid saying one thing and doing another. For example, have you ever been kind to someone’s face, but then talked about them behind their back? Do you know anyone who says they’re a friend to the environment but then throws gum wrappers on the ground? If you say something, make sure your actions back it up, and vice versa.
Want more suggestions on how to change the world? Read “100 Ways to Make the World Better!” by Lisa M. Gerry