when we talk about "changing the world", we're often not talking about we ourselves personally changing the planet we live on. we're talking about being a part of a collective that will do the job, or maybe even being part of urging someone in a government position to help implement the change we wish to see in the world. but if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know by now that I'm a massive believer in the fact that we are powerful, sacred beings who were born with everything we need to help change this world for the better. And I believe that change starts right here, right now, with us.
with me. with you.
as i mentioned in my last blog post (in which i talked a bit about how i believe our very purpose can be found in helping to change the world), there's a lot in the world that needs to be changed. if you follow me on social media, you may have seen my post on thursday in support of the end it movement, spurred by a collation raising awareness about the fact that humans are enslaved and trafficked worldwide; there are actually more slaves today than ever before, and that is a staggering statistic.
when we look at issues like trafficking, or how many orphans there are in the world, or how many people don't have access to clean, safe drinking water - or if we look at how much of our beautiful planet has been polluted and exploited, we can often feel extremely overwhelmed and helpless. but we don't have to feel this way; in fact, beginning to change the world is not a complicated process.
notice i said "beginning to" ;)
every movement, every change, everything starts with an idea. the civil rights movement started with some great ideas. going to the moon started with ideas. jacque cousteau's research started with an idea. it blows my mind when i look around at the world and everything in it - every building, every street, every store, every sign, every car, house, and coffee shop - if your rewind far enough, it was all born in the dark solitude of someone's imagination. long before anything comes into material existence, everything begins there.
that said, we can use this as a valuable tool, because the very first step we need to take to change the world is to simply get our idea, whatever it may be, out of heads and onto a piece of paper. that may sound ridiculously simple, but that really is the first step. whether you want to write a book, or start a movement, sitting down and writing out your thoughts is the first thing you need to do to actually begin to make your ideas tangible. and i know this from experience.
when I was a young teenager I co-founded a non-profit organization called Blue Freedom with my sister. together with some close friends, we launched this international volunteer-run group centered around protecting and restoring our oceans - specifically keeping whales and dolphins wild, and out of captivity (a massive and destructive threat to cetaceans). in 2012 we started a blog, chronicling the facts we were uncovering through our research, and sharing them with students through online awareness and presentations.
but for us, that wasn't enough. we wanted to do something even bigger with what we had learned. so we decided to make a documentary about it.
i remember the first time we discussed the idea; i'm pretty sure it was just my sister and i, and our parents gathered around our dining room table, brainstorming ideas. the idea for making a film came up...and we wrote it down.
little did i know that the next few years would take my sister and I all over the country, conducting and filming interviews, speaking at events, and getting to know and hear the stories of some absolutely incredible people. it was a lot of work, and it turned into a massive project that went far beyond those simple words i had jotted down in my "meeting notes" that afternoon...but it started there.
we called our film Voiceless, and in August of 2016 we were privileged and honored to be invited to premier it at Superpod, an environmental conference on San Juan Island, Washington that is attended by an international group of scientists, filmmakers, authors, journalists, naturalists, orca advocates and people who want to see killer whales in their natural home.
today our film has garnered nearly 150 thousand views, has been shown in schools both in the US and internationally, and continues to help raise awareness for keeping whales and dolphins wild.
in the grand scheme of things, it can be easy to look at making a film or writing a book and say to ourselves "that's just a drop in the ocean - how can that possibly change the world?" but the truth is, it's the only thing that ever has: our ideas, our words...it takes only one person to take that first step. to have an idea and write it down. that's when everything slowly begins to turn, gaining more an more momentum with your passion.
but the point of my story, and the reason i bring it up, is the simple fact that i was just a kid...a kid with an idea, a laptop, and a lot of passion. so never, never, never let someone tell you that you can't. that's a lie. there is always something you can do.
“one child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
- malala yousafzai
and as i write this, i'm encouraging myself! because there is SO MUCH MORE I WANT TO DO. i want to help save this planet and the people and animals who live here. i want to keep inspiring people with my words. and the thing that inspires me to no end is the fact that i can make a difference. i actually can do something. there are literally no limiters.
it's easy to despair and lose hope...but, when you look deeper - when you look at the raw potential for goodness inside of you? you'll soon discover that there is never a reason to lose hope. whether you want to end human trafficking, stop deforestation, or help kids in need, there is always something you can do.
"There is within human nature an amazing potential for goodness."
- rev. dr. martin luther king jr.
so, let's start with the very first thing: writing it down. even if you don't have a specific idea, write down something you want to see change in the world: anything. write it down in a journal and keep in on your desk or in a place where you can return to it often. when you think of ideas spun from what you wrote down, jot those down beneath what you originally wrote. chronicle your own ideas for change.
this afternoon, just before i began this post, i stat down at the table with my own journal and pen and wrote down a very big idea of my own, and i'm glad i did, because i'm going to return to that idea every single time i get discouraged or feel overwhelmed to remind myself that we are here on purpose, and for a purpose...and nothing we do to make this world a better place is ever wasted.
okay, your turn - what's one thing you want to impact the world for the better with - in one word? truth? love? peace? comment below and share your word + thoughts, I would absolutely love to hear them. i hope this post encouraged and inspired you...and i hope you see a potential world-changer when you look in the mirror today. :) Oh, and if you get a chance to check out Voiceless, let me know what you think of it!