“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I remember reading this when I was younger and almost immediately thinking, “Wow… world hunger… I guess I need to feed every single person if I’m gonna solve that one.” And because I thought so big, I never knew how to act on this saying. How on Earth could little, eight-year-old Ev solve world hunger? I didn’t know the answer to this, so I didn’t do anything. It wasn’t until recently that I started reconsidering this phrase that had long eluded me.
“Be the change you wish to see in your world,” is how I have rephrased the saying. To avoid boring you of the details, I’ll just sum up the main change(s) I’ve made in myself in an effort to change my world. I’ve started listening and encouraging and actually interacting.
So many people talk and talk and talk, but never actually listen. They hear what they want to hear, if anything at all. No one will listen to your rant, especially if it is contradicting what they believe. So, I’ve started listening. If any of my friends have an issue, or they just want to talk, they can call me. And I will listen. I want to hear everything you have to say—all of it. As a server, I interact with people, day in and day out, and I love hearing their stories—where they’ve been, where they’re going, where they’re at… Everyone’s got something to say, and I want to hear it. Tell me everything–whatever’s driving you insane, whatever you’re passionate about, your hopes, dreams, aspirations—you want to talk about it, and I want you to.
Being in college is such a wishy-washy time for all of us. From dating, to job searching, to just planning the next week ahead—it seems like nothing is for certain, and there is never enough time in a day. Five months ago, I was planning to move to Texas after graduation; but circumstances change, and that is not the right move for me now. Now I’m job searching, just like everybody else, and I keep finding myself say, “well, maybe I’m not cutout for that job,” or “they’d never hire me.” And I’m sure plenty of my classmates are finding themselves in the same predicament, lacking confidence to even apply for the jobs or pursue the dreams they want for themselves. Well I’ve started encouraging everyone to do everything. You’re afraid to go into the weight room with all the meat heads in the gym? Do it. Nervous to text your crush and ask him/her to get drinks? Do it. Don’t think you’re exactly qualified for that entry-level dream job that requires 20 years’ experience? Do it. The only thing holding you back from getting what you want is yourself. Once you realize that, you’re set.
I’ve also started interacting more with everyone around me. With the rise of smart phones, smart watches (I caved and ordered one last night,) smart cars, smart mailboxes, and just about any other inanimate object becoming “smart,” humans are losing our humanity. No one interacts. You walk into a classroom and there’s minimal conversation. Hallways are damn near silent. Everyone’s heads are down, typing, texting, snapchatting, posting, etc. We interact more over digital screens than face to face. And so, I decided to start talking. My classmates probably used to think I was mute, and now I just speak to anyone who will listen. We’re all in the same class, we all probably have the same questions; and nothing is more comforting than saying, “OMG we had something do today?” and the other person responds, “We did? Well I didn’t do it.” Put the phone down, take out your headphones, and interact with all the people around you.
Now that I’ve ranted about how I’ve changed my world, it’s time for you to go out and be the change you wish to see in your world. Whatever it may be, you can make an impact, no matter how small.