High school and college graduates frequently say they want to “Make a Difference” and “Change the World.” But they are blind to the great and the good.
Instead of focusing on change, take a look around.
Learn first, change later
- Observe what works.
- What is there to appreciate?
- Immerse yourself in a well-run community project or organization BEFORE seeking change.
- Learn from professionals.
- Ask questions, respectfully.
- Read trade journals and books.
- Take online training from professionals or professional organizations. You can learn anything online now.
- Learn about the world from the world, not false knowledge from people who only teach in the Theoretical World but don’t work in the Real World.
- Listen with an open mind.
- Gain experience before disrespecting what you don’t understand.
Remove those indoctrination-colored lenses
Don’t give up on your dreams. Instead of rattling an illusory cage, get your hands dirty, put your humble cap on, and open your eyes and mind to What Is.
Educational institutions try to separate you from your family by telling you your parents:
- Are ignorant
- Don’t understand
- Are doing life wrong
You must CHANGE things, you are told.
What you really must do:
- Be responsible
- Be reliable
- Show up
Learn about your country from source documents. Read the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. It wouldn’t hurt to read the Federalist Papers too.
This is not a lot of reading. More words pass eyeballs in a single week of social media. These documents are not tax law volumes. They are simple, brief, and surprisingly clear almost 250 years later.
Before presuming to change the world, understand it. Open your eyes to the world you think you want to change.
Lies, errors, and omissions
Our country is awesome, and I’m tired of the media, misinformed people, and too many schools and colleges saying otherwise. Repeatedly, authority figures have been wrong—about slavery, the shape of the Earth, what women are capable of, that man was not meant to fly.
It’s possible that all those people criticizing your freedoms with their canned lines are wrong.
This is the best time to learn, explore, and grow. Do you know how much useful shit you can learn and do FOR FREE?! (Or less than a daily Starbucks habit, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and video game subscriptions.) If unable to go online at home, go to the library. There are no more barriers to achievement, except those you erect in your mind and heart.
If you feel repressed, YOU put yourself there and YOU can get yourself out. Want happiness and peace MORE.
You are not a label
Treat everyone as if they matter because they do, no matter their age or anything else. And don’t let anyone else define you by your outsides because you deserve better.
You define you.
And you don’t define yourself by your outsides either. You are more than the sum of your parts.
Change begins with you
- Your habits
- Your handshake
- Your eye contact
- Your words
- Your heart
Identify 10 things you couldn’t do without. Thank the person(s) responsible for making sure you have them. If you list food and water, who shops for your food? Who pays the water bill? What economic system makes the buying and selling of goods possible?
Featured image by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command on Flickr