“I am currently studying in Mumbai. If I save up some pocket money by the end of the month, I buy story books for the kids of an orphanage I visit every weekend. Story books were the best part of my childhood.”
“I do a part-time job after college. That pays enough for my maid’s daughter’s dance lessons. Mom doesn’t know.”
“Those calls I keep getting at night, my number is also a suicide helpline.”
Yes, you cannot change the world. That is a hyperbole. But you can change one person’s world. – Adwitiya Rahman (Brother you keep telling me this and you’re right.)
Let me tell you a story. A 20-year-old Swiss boy was on the verge of committing suicide one summer. He had two options – to die or elope. He eloped. He used his saved up pocket money to buy a ticket to India. Two weeks later, he landed up in a small village near Madurai. There, while he thought he could save the twenty children of a small orphanage, the children saved him. And he returned the favor.
He asked for help from everyone who he knew could help. He built a wall to give them a sound sleep at night, he worked to pay for their school fees, he moved to India to keep his promise – he was their anna.
Now, that was one man making a difference in twenty lives. Did he change the world? No. But he did manage to change their world.
Do not say you cannot make an impact because you are not rich enough, not smart enough, not free enough. Don’t say, “Oh, I want to teach kids but I got no space.” The world’s largest companies started in the garage in the backyard. Wait, don’t have a garage? Start teaching in the kitchen, on the road. The Government is messed up? The System does not facilitate change? Defy the system. And, finally, if your country really keeps you from doing what you think is the right thing to do, no one’s stopping you from leaving. Only you. All the rest are no excuses not to try. You alone cannot change the world, but you have to try.
I do not expect mom to change the world. But I do expect a brother to. The world belongs to us today. The Gen Y. The millennials. The earlier generations complain that we do not have an organizational attitude, we do not follow rules, we never learned how to work in teams, our generation has gone to the dogs.
I refuse to take the blame. Yes, we are violent and radical. Yes, we have an abusive tongue and poke holes around our body to hang silver rings. Yes, we do not stick around for too long, maybe because we refuse to settle for anything but the best.
We have the first generation of truly empowered women; we are the first generation to have fought for gay rights; we are the first generation who held candle lights nationwide as a raped girl died. We aren’t flawless, but we are the first generation that’s trying.
Do you know what’s the only thing that will break our momentum? Time. We are impatient and we never have time. The only way of creating a real impact in a short time is to hold each other’s’ hand and strive – for a better end to today, a better beginning for tomorrow. It’s not such a good time, the world is crying of doom. Let’s hold closer, tight. We will fight. And we will win. And we will win right.
I will repeat what I said. Changing the world is far-fetched, at least single handed. But together, we are stronger than we think we are. Together, we can make an impact – one that lasts. So, I pray. Try.
Let us change the world, one person at a time.