Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

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 wh*** 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. So here's my question to you: how are you going to change yourself?

Views: 105

Comment by Elora Ramirez on April 23, 2010 at 4:01am
@Edwige - mentoring DOES help...if anything, it really allows you to peek into the minds of teens. I love mentoring my students in the art of storytelling - but not because I think I've taught them a lot. They bring me such joy.
@Ken - I had a professor in grad school who would always say he wanted to change the world, but he'd get too depressed trying to figure out what to do. He figured doing his part in energy conservation and mentoring his students in writing was enough - and it was more than enough. He impacted me more than any of my other professors - taught me to think for myself. :) Thanks for the power points!
@Michele - James is probably one of the most insightful people I know. He's my age, 27, and has incredible wisdom. I look up to him. Thanks for the comment. :)
Comment by Jeremy Laird Hogg on April 29, 2010 at 9:14pm
awesome. human. good idea. Let us apply temperance to our solutions, not just propose temperance with our solution proposals.
Comment by Elora Ramirez on April 29, 2010 at 9:45pm
@Jeremy - I love that. "Let us apply temperance to our solutions, not just propose temperance with our solution proposals." So well said. Thanks for commenting!
Comment by Victor Udoewa on May 2, 2010 at 9:34pm
Elora, GREAT post! I don't think everyone is overwhelmed all the time, but usually someone is overwhelmed and everyone is overwhelmed some of the time, so it helps to have manageable steps that one can take. This especially helps me as I speak to groups because they don't want to hear climate change, for instance, because the idea is too big and too immobilizing. They want something simple they can do. It helps me when I speak with my students and when I'm taking them on service learning projects. We know that if we just get started, if we just act, if we just DO something (not say something) that it's a step in the right direction.

In fact, I'm pretty certain that we would not need many of the non-profits and social enterprises and NGO's if everyone just did their part and took care of the people in their neighborhood. It reminds me that for a long time I was trying to figure out what I can do sustainably about the homeless people in my neighborhood. Then I was robbed. As it turns out, it was one of these people. It struck me as odd, because if he had just asked, I would have given him my shoes or whatever else he was trying to take. But it was more odd was that while I was trying to figure out a way to help, the need in his life expressed itself through crime. I wish I had been quicker to do something. If we all did something in our own neighborhoods, homeless and poverty wouldn't be an issue. We wouldn't need NGO's and non-profits who do such work because we would have each done our part in our own locality. As it is, these organizations really compensate for what we don't do as individuals in our community. I'm still trying to be a better community-member.

Thanks, Elora. God's speed in your work. I'll try to do the same. Inspiring words. I wish you well with the book writing.
Comment by Ternura Rojas on May 3, 2010 at 11:31am
Dr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma=the big or huge soul) said something like you have to BE THE CHANGE that you want to see in the world. So let us BE and soon we will see how things improve around us. Piece of cake! :-)
Comment by Buffy B on May 3, 2010 at 8:42pm
Hey Ken, so did I, great posts from post of them, inspiring!

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