We must become the change we want to see in the world

Length: 3 Pages 705 Words

A glass that is only half-filled with water can either be perceived as half-empty or half-full, depending on the mindset of the person who is viewing it. Unfortunately, most human beings have a marked tendency to see the glass as half-empty and do nothing more than perhaps wish that someone would come along and fill it to the brim. And so, the glass stays half- filled with water and a volume of space with unrealized potential. At this point, I must confess that till recently, I belonged to the group of people who tended to take the half-empty view and to that extent was a person dissatisfied with some aspects of her world. One such area of marked dissatisfaction was a rather decrepit neighborhood near my place of residence. As a lover of beauty and a person who one day hopes to be an architect, the neighborhood constantly disturbed my equilibrium each time that I had occasion to pass through. I used to wonder and lament over the fact that no one seemed to care about the filth on the streets, the dingy exteriors of th Continue...

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e buildings, the graffiti on the walls, or the total lack of any greenery. To add to the list, I was also horrified to discover the degree of gloom within the interiors of the buildings during the one time that I had reason to visit some of the tenants. " And I now sincerely hope that this very same philosophy will stand me in good stead when I am a practicing architect and that it will lead to my personally contributing to adding beauty to everyone's world. " (Earth Focus Web site) Severn's story set me thinking and succeeded in changing my entire view. At age 11, she started the aEnvironmental Children's Organization,' a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. I realized that raising the resources and funds to achieve a complete make- over of the area would not just take time but lead to a host of practical issues such as rehabilitation of the residents. So I set out to examine the potential for change that existed within the existing structures and suddenly, where I used to see only ugliness, I began to see the promise of cheer. Yet, I continued to wish that it could change and the constant refrain in my mind was that either the government or some rich philanthropist should invest in bringing about improvements so that the neighborhood could look as pleasing as some of the more well-kept areas in the city. A promise that has led to hope and a plan to mobilize the support of the resident and neighborhood communities in order to realize my vision of change. Instead I only see the promise of potential. Suddenly I realized that I could personally play a role in bringing about a change in the neighborhood that had disturbed me so much. I continued to feel disgruntled about the lack of change and continued deterioration of the neighborhood in question till one day, when I read about an eleven-year-old girl's efforts to bring about a change in environmental consciousness: "Severn Cullis-Suzuki has been active in environmental and social justice work since kindergarten. I understood that the neighborhood comprised of low-income families who simply did not have the resources to upgrade their neighborhood. Simple things such as painting the interiors with cheerful colors, better lighting, potted greenery and shrubs along window sills and building exteriors, and even painting over the existing graffiti with say, a child's artistic vision of a better world.


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