There are a great many beautiful things in the world, but just as many ugly ones, making it far too easy to be cynical. I admit I am inclined to it myself. It is true; we live in a messed-up world. This summer I traveled to the country of Ecuador. What I saw, and what I learned about the world outside my home ignited something within me that made me want to change the world. But my mind began to wonder, though my heart attested to the wrongness of such thinking, if it was a useless endeavor.
My mind argued about the vastness and complexity of the problems of the world. It argued that the world was beyond repair and would probably remain largely messed up and ugly until it ended. Even so I could not get away from feeling that, all the same, I am called to change the world. As I reflected on why this was, I realized why it is not worthless to try. The answer is people. I can affect people. I may not solve the complex and deeply rooted issues that exist in the world, but I can affect people. I do affect people, for good or bad, without trying. I change the world just by being in it.
Still, to “change the world” is an intimidating phrase, but amongst my feelings of inadequacy I realized two things. First, although there are many limits of what I can do, there are none on what God can do. I am called to “change the world,” to affect people, because God cares about people. Second, to change the world does not require being a diplomat, a Peace Corp worker, or Mother Theresa, although these are all very great things. Because to change the world is to affect people, I have the opportunity to change the world in every person I meet. Change affects people, I affect people, and therefore I change the world. This I believe: that to change the world is not a hopeless cause, but rather a crucial one, because we are all people, we all can, and we could all use some change.
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