Change is difficult.
If it was easy, everyone would be an activist. Through no fault of their own, the average person likely views the concept of change as a wholeheartedly abstract entity that appears both reclusive and problematic. However, this entity can be broken down into a more straightforward form if we view change itself through the lens of those who have already accomplished great deeds.
Look to Malala
To most young adults, facilitating change can seem disconcerting at best and entirely unappealing at worst. But before completely writing off combating injustice, consider the case of young Malala Yousafzai.
Malala Yousafzai, pictured above, won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for her work as a proponent of women’s rights, even after she was shot in the head by a Taliban hit-man for advocating for what she believed in. She miraculously survived, and this near death experience only served to strengthen her resolve to continue improving women’s rights throughout the world. The best part is that she has accomplished all these feats at the age of seventeen. Of course the average young activist is unlikely to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but she stands as a definitive symbol of the heights an individual can aspire for regardless of age.
Individuals like Malala prove that change is not as inaccessible as some may have previously thought. If she was able to advance her cause on a global scale after she was almost murdered, we owe it to her sheer willpower alone to at least endeavor to make a positive mark on society.
Whether it is our favorite sports star, celebrity, or even our parents, we already look to role models on a daily basis. Why not also look to role models when it comes to change? It’s a safe assumption to make that we know obvious human rights champions like Mahatma Gandhi, but their accomplishments can seem too momentous to be replicated in the same scale again, let alone by a young adult.
Instead, it is more constructive to view change through the eyes of young, current activists who have already made the world a better place. Like Malala, these people have defied conventional standards and dared to fix the problems that they have encountered.
Consider the case of teenager Madelyn McGlynn, who co-founded an organization that is estimated to have saved 34,500 lives by sending mosquito nets to combat malaria. Or nineteen year old Kyle Weiss, who created a program to give children a desperately needed outlet by revamping soccer fields throughout developing countries. Or even the young volunteer who spends every other Sunday assisting the local homeless shelter.
Whoever it may be, countless young people have already made the choice to become socially conscious proponents of what they believe in. They offer us guidance and they show us the way. Join in their movement, and demonstrate to the world that not just an adult can become an activist.
These individuals prove that young change truly is the best change.
Written By: Sam Gorman, founder of Youngchange-Bestchange
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Do you know any socially conscious young activists? If you do, leave a comment below with a description.