If you follow me on social media, you might have noticed that I’ve spent the past week on the other side of the world in New Zealand! As many of you know, I do a lot of traveling, but this adventure was very special because it had a meaningful purpose and intent. I had the great privilege of attending and participating in a leadership summit for the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from Parkland, Florida.
After the tragedy that took place on February 14, 2018, the University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army invited students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas to join them for a student leadership summit in the hopes of sharing stories, creating movements, and cultivating leadership skills.
For an entire week, I was perpetually blown away by the grace, eloquence, poise, and passion that these students possessed. Every single student, of the 28 who traveled around the world to participate, was engaged and committed to being the change that they wish to see in the world. Synchronistically, their school’s motto is that exact Gandhi quote, “Be the change you wish to see.”
It’s true that young people tend to get a bad rap these days. Older generations peg them as unengaged, self-absorbed, and lazy. These labels couldn’t be farther from the truth of reality. If the future of our world is held in the hands of our youth, we will be in capable and thoughtful hands.
One of the biggest takeaways I had personally from this trip is the truth in remembering just how powerful we are. We all have the ability to leave a dent, move the needle, and be the change wish wish to see in this world. It’s absolutely possible for all of us.
We can do our parts to impact the world in the ways that truly feel meaningful to us. We don’t have to have large social media platforms, be on the news, or wait for the spotlight to be that change. We just need to have the passion and the drive to take action, even when it feels hard, scary, or not enough.
If you want to make an impact, but aren’t quite sure where to begin, I’ve put together a little to-do list to help you on your way:
1. Check in with your heart and discover who you are, and what really matters to you.
2. Identify (be specific) what changes you wish would materialize in this world.
3. Commit your voice, power, and energy to moving the needle on whatever cause or issue you feel called to.
4. Create a plan with small, tangible actions that will help you to be involved.
5. Remember that we all don’t have to “save the world” by ourselves. It’s a team effort. Whenever you feel the pressure that you have to do and be it all, give yourself a break. Keep taking those small actions, and know that what you’re doing is meaningful and enough. You are never alone.
What causes and issues are you passionate about? In what areas of your life do you think you would like to step up and be a leader?
I’d love to keep this conversation going in the comments below, let me know!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org