The Change We Will Be

Robert - Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 22, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, hope
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

What is it in our society that keeps us from taking action? Why do so many of us feel like we should keep our heads low, that we should avoid doing anything too “out there” or unexpected. Then we wonder why so many issues never get resolved and stay in some sort of awful, stagnant state. This does not have to be the case, and I feel that people are starting to grow tired of the way things are. I believe that our generation will be a powerful beacon of hope in the world, and that the many problems we face will begin to get the attention that they have needed for so long.

Why should I care about the people in the streets, or those who starve to death, or those who are abused and mistreated? I am only a nineteen year old. Shouldn’t I just worry about my family, friends, and education? I think this is a trap that many of us can fall into. We get caught up in our own little worlds, forgetting that there is a much larger one around us filled with strife and injustice. I have seen for myself the horrors that this world can spawn. People living without clean water and electricity. People who are lucky to get even one meal a day. Human beings no different than myself living in conditions that should make anyone cringe. But am I the only one who has caught a glimpse of these tragedies and been inspired to do something? I would say “no”, and that is what excites me the most. Not only have I seen others who are aware of the problems that need to be solved, but they have also gained a wonderful perspective and vision for what could be done to improve and uplift the lives of the down trodden.

Through past mission trips into Lima, Peru, I have had the opportunity to see both young and old come together to combat the darkness that resides in our world. Teenagers willing to give up huge chunks of their summer vacation, all to help someone they had never known before. Adult leaders willing to come alongside and mentor those of us who had never experienced such things, preparing us for the fight ahead. The fight against hunger, abuse, homelessness, lack of medical treatment, and the list goes on. But I do not think the size of that list and the tasks ahead will cause us to falter; in fact it can only make us want to push forward even more. I believe that this will be the generation that decides to stand up against injustice and not take “no” for an answer. We have realized our potential, we will seek solutions, and I know we will become a clear and booming voice for the voiceless.