When I look deep down inside, I find myself somewhat of a pessimist. Not just any pessimist though, an anxious pessimist. Anxiety girl, able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound. I usually don’t watch the news, because I don’t want to hear about how the world outside my own head is messed up. When there are issues inside my head, it’s just that. Inside my head. My problem. When there is a war overseas, an oil spill, or a school shooting, it’s the world that’s messed up, and that’s not something any amount of meddling on my part can fix. That’s the secret to life, though. Don’t meddle in outside affairs. Find your circle of friends, or even just acquaintances, who you can work with together to make each of your lives’ better.
Last semester I was in a program called “The Art of Leadership.” In this program, I got to spend Wednesday nights with fourteen other student leaders from campus. We did things like take personality tests, learn about ethics, and were taught to use our leadership styles to better ourselves. And, to my surprise, after two weeks my outlook on this world that we all live in brightened. Because this was the room on campus with fifteen people who were most likely to actually change the world. And, one week later, I came to the realization that I was one of those people. I can change the world.
Since that realization, I have seen around me the ways that we can all change the world in a little way. Every time someone smiles at me, my world is a better place to be. It is also better when someone compliments me on something. Anything. So, now it is my goal to change the world for one person a day. I interact with people at school, at work, at the coffee shop, and even on the bus.
When I get down and begin to believe that I am just one person, that I am shy and that there is no way that I could possibly make anyone better, I fight back with a mantra:
From the beginning I’ve always been shy
But I knew that someday I’d learn to fly
As days go on and events unfold
I know I’ll someday change the world.
And, even if I’m the only person like this, I still will leave a legacy. I will change the world. There is hope for the future.
Patricia Woodbury just graduated from college. She is currently living in central Massachusetts and is still writing.