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10/04/2014

Can One Person Change the World?

My parents always taught me that the sky was a limit. Life gives me tons of opportunities and I should seize them all. However, not everyone understands that my parents, teachers and friends impose limits with their expectations. They want me to behave in a certain way, read specific books, be interested in politics, and progress within the boundaries they dictate. My free spirit and critical mind motivate me to break rules and exist for a single goal: to make this world better. Can I achieve that on my own or do I have to become a victim of conformity? I don’t take actions to gain the respect of people; I behave in a way that helps me be proud of the person I’ve become.

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Although I didn’t choose to be born (as far as I know), the right to govern my life and act according to my principles is exclusively mine. I have always been wondering why I was born and wasn’t satisfied with the answer that I was too small, insignificant and common to make a change. Every human has great dreams that are worth following, but our hectic lives of working, running from one errand to another, little sleeping, little reading, and too much eating and talking have brought us to a point when we are too busy to see our own struggle. People are fighting and governments make wars in the name of “equal rights”. We are always ready to criticize the mistakes of others, but don’t bother thinking about our own misconceptions, faulty thoughts and improper behavior.

My parents had great visions about my future. They wanted me to study law because that degree would lead me towards a bright career… that would bring a lot of money. I couldn’t help but notice the disappointment in their eyes when I decided that my dreams and goals were too valuable to sell and substitute for mediocrity. I had a different vision: make small, but significant changes and stick to Dostoyevsky’s motto “to go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s”. Unfortunately, I was afraid to take real steps and got stuck in idealism.

Can an individual make a real change? Was Gandhi right when he said “Be the change that you wish to see”? That quote has been my guiding point for years, but at moments I still doubt the possibility of a single person going against the crowd. Real changes are made by communities, and our society has created a community that supports ambition and avarice. When an individual takes a political position with the purpose of making changes, the position ends up changing him. The purpose of my existence is not changing the world and people’s understandings; it is to preserve my strength and become my own hero.

For as long as we keep blaming the governments, other people, society or God for our misery, we will remain stuck in a position that makes us unhappy. There is no point in waiting for someone to say what I think, so I can follow the lead. When I change my own world, the world around me will change itself.