by Gabrielle (Bri) Rooks '18
Sometimes, I find myself thinking about all the things I would change in our world. For example, ending world hunger or helping to reduce poverty rates. The list seems endless. I can think about these topics hours on end, even finding myself having long discussions with my peers about how we need to change the world. Now I sit here ashamed because I don’t want to just sit and complain about all the things that need to be changed but I need to get up and do something. I have so much respect for those people who try to make an impact. I want to give back to the world that has given so much to me.
Small acts can be where it starts. Maybe you lend a hand to your neighbor by bringing in their groceries or help a friend through a difficult time. These actions are making an impact on the world. Oftentimes, I go into a community service project hoping that it will help millions of people, but it doesn’t. It might only make an impact on a few people, and that’s okay. Even if I can only make a difference in one person’s life, then I know I’ve had an impact. The smallest acts can have the biggest impact.
Let’s look at some of my friends for example. One of my friends is a full time student doing many extracurriculars and she spends some of her free time reading rough drafts of her neighbor’s books to give her suggestions. She does this not because she has to, but because she knows it will make an impact on this woman's life and career. Another one of my friends has one of the busiest lives you can imagine. Yet she still finds time to choreograph a dance production for the members of her church because she knows that it brings joy to people within her community. I have a friend who educates herself by watching hours of documentaries so she can inform others about things that are happening in the world. These people impact my life and others’ every single day. Use your interest as a way to give back. If you’re an artist; create a piece that can be displayed somewhere that gives others the courage and willingness to pay it forward. There is no greater inspiration than you.
Often I think we find ourselves feeling that the only way to make an impact is through a community service project. This might be the right fit for some people but for others a small act can make a big impact. There are so many things that I want to change in the world. I no longer want to sit back and watch conditions get worse—I want to get out there and be the change. I might not know how to do that yet but I’m going to start small and see where it leads me. My aunt gave me a poster that it says the word, “inspire.” I look at it every day and begin to think of all the ways I wish to inspire and all the ways I have been inspired. No act is too small to inspire others to make a difference.