You may know this if you have already read the post “Six Steps to Change the World”, but I am a huge advocate of working together to create change. You know, the Margaret Mead idea of “a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” rings true. However, that can be difficult to live out. I’m somewhat of a recluse. I don’t try to be, but I am very content to be by myself at times- so I want to be able to make the world a better place without community. However, that is not the most effective way to change the world and I am also somewhat concerned with efficiency. So, I want to make sure that my efforts are getting the best results possible. Hence, why I try to work in groups in efforts to make the world a better place. This is also why I am writing to encourage you to work in groups in your endeavors as well.
Working with people to create change has a lot of benefits. For one, you will have a community of like minded people, which will prevent burn out and also keep you from trying to carry out a bad idea- which I have seen can do more harm than good in the social change sector. Additionally, awareness is exponential. Look at human trafficking. When I became involved in this issue ten years ago, hardly anybody knew that slavery still existed. Now, it is difficult to find anybody that doesn’t know about it. This kind of critical mass awareness is bringing about change like never before with human trafficking- and it can with your passion as well! Change starts with you, and a group of people around you. No one can do it all alone.
Now, this is not saying that if you happen to care deeply about an issue that your friends, coworkers, or relatives will not become active in, that you should stop caring. We were given passions for a reason- to use them! Every major change started with a leader who mobilized people to action (think Jesus, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi) If you find yourself in this situation, as I have at certain times in my life, continue to try and make an impact. Raise awareness about the issue to reduce apathy among your friend group. Almost more importantly, volunteer with that cause! You will then meet people who already care and can then become the group of people with whom you change the world.
Therefore, think about the people in your life that you can create change with. For me, as I think about all of the times I go by myself to volunteer and don’t communicate much with other volunteers (not to be rude-it is just the nature of the work), I know I can definitely do a better job at working together, because two is better than one, and ten is better than two,