This I Believe

Libby - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change

The First Snowflake

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This quote by Gandhi is the theme for the Student Council 2006 at my high school. When I first heard this quote I didn’t think much of it, but after we discussed it in Student Council I realized how many different meanings it had to people. To me this quote meant if I want something to happen, I have to start it. I can’t wait around for someone else to start it because then it might be too late. Even though I might be one person, my idea can spread and affect many others.

Even though personally I have never started something to change a large amount of people, there are many stories of people who have. For example, my friend Megan, who was only a young teenager at the time, along with her friend and one of their teachers wrote a book to raise awareness of a cause they strongly support. Bear the Challenge is about children who overcome daily obstacles, never giving up, and fighting the challenge. The book was to raise awareness of pediatric cancer and support the cause Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Inc. Although just three people wrote this book, it was read by many, having an impact on them and raising awareness of this cause. By writing a few short stories and poems, Megan and her co-authors produced a book to bring change, further support, and continue research to provide hope for young children with cancer.

Change is like a snowball. It starts out with one snowflake, but progressively builds, adding more snowflakes to it with each movement and turn. The snowball, always getting bigger, however, has to be held together, constantly being molded and shaped. We, like the snowflakes, have to start our own snowball, bringing more snowflakes into the change and raising awareness. This snowflake that starts the change doesn’t necessarily have to be big, it can be a small gesture and still have an impact on many, causing the snowball to grow and constantly have an affect on others. In addition, this snowball cannot start rolling on its own. It has to be pushed and supported from the beginning, and throughout the process. Like a snowball fight, however, you can be hit when you least suspect it to happen. You must be ready for the obstacles and face the challenge.

I believe in this snowball effect. I believe one person can bring change to this world and have an effect on hundreds or even millions. Like my interpretation of the quote said by Gandhi, you have to start what you believe in. You have to push your snowball to start it rolling, and constantly mold it and keep it together. You have to be the snowflake. Hopefully one day I can bring change and be that first snowflake.