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How to Change the World

How to Change the World

I have this amazingly driven friend who wants to change the world. She’s not the only one; our generation is full of fighters. I, along with most young people, am so tired of having to scream for gender equality, LGBTQ+rights, or even free access to stuff like tampons.

But here’s the thing: We tend to forget that we cannot change the world overnight. We get mad and we create a big buzz about an issue, but it gets forgotten quickly. We can make an impact; we can make the people pay attention to us and bring these issues to light. But as annoying as it is, we need to remain patient and avoid violence and anger.

In order to actually change the world, first we need to create a safe space around ourselves to do so. Get people to listen. Make a community. Talk about issues. Have those conversations with our parents, our best friends, our teachers. Surround ourselves with a network who will support us when we need them. Because, let’s face it: Sometimes you need the support.

There is so much anger among young people, so much hatred. We need to eliminate that, and then stand together for a bigger cause. Don’t we all want the chance to live and grow old in a world we love? In a safe and equal space, where physical appearances and gender identification won’t be judged? One of my favorite teachers told me once, “That sounds like my generation.“ It got me thinking: Every new generation has their fight. All young people want changes.

But the thing that sets us apart from past generations is the fact that we have social media. And that equals power. We are able to spread information in seconds and get the attention of a lot of important people. We might be young, but we can affect people in incredibly fast and impactful ways.

The moral of the story? Have patience. Learn to sense when the fight isn’t worth it. If it creates more noise than impact, it’s a waste of breath. But if you can help one (only one!) person understand or accept or teach them not to be hateful, it's worth it. We will make those changes. We will get the results for our fight. But it will not happen immediately, and we can’t give up.

They see us, and they hear us. Fight alongside love, patience, and your people. After all, no one has ever won a big fight like this one alone.

By Nina Andelkovič, 18

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