I believe in my potential to change the world. Perhaps it is the result of being raised on a home video diet of Disney princesses following their heart and never giving up on their dreams. Perhaps it is a result of my hero worship for the generation that brought us the political music of the sixties and seventies. Perhaps I am idealistic because I am young and a college student. Perhaps as a result of all these things, I have an unshakable belief in my ability to change my circumstances and brighten my future.
I was driving to work listening to the radio when the Temptation’s song “Ball of Confusion” came on. Written in 1970 in response to segregation, the Vietnam War, and other issues, the boldness of its message startled me. The Temptations didn’t sit around moaning the sad state of their world; they didn’t pretend that problems did not exist; they did something to change it. They reacted and reached out with a message. During that time period, so many people – artists, writers, and musicians – people with no political power at all were able to use their voice and spread a message. They were contributors to the changes in America that were so necessary.
It is encouraging to realize that I, too, am an active member in my world. Instead of the child I used to be, a bystander in my own life, I am a citizen – an individual with a voice, a brain, a vote. If I am ready for the end of the war, a new attitude towards immigration, and a healthier future for the planet, I can do something. Sure, change might not be immediate. It may not even be what I hope for. But as a person who cares very much about her future, I do not think it is a waste of time to rise out of my former state of apathetic resignation and walking to class to save gasoline; to write my state representative; and to go to the polls when the day comes.
I know that one individual’s opinion on the state of their world is not going to change everything alone. But it is encouraging to realize that I am not powerless. I can break out of my attitude as a victim of circumstance. Change may not always be for the best, but it is the necessary first step towards a better future.
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