How to: Make the world a better place

How to: Make the world a better place

by Rachel GullStaff Writer

Have you been watching the news lately? The stock market is down. Unemployment is up. Our country is at war. The ozone layer isn’t doing so hot. Earth is a lovely planet, but it has issues.

We could pick some friends and skedaddle, venturing off into space to find a new place to live. Unfortunately, the average college student doesn’t have access to the necessary technology. We could borrow a space shuttle, but I think NASA might protest.

Instead of bailing on our planet, maybe we should just try to fix it. Countless groups throughout history have worked to make the world a better place. You may wonder what one person can possibly do. Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

If each of us takes personal little steps towards change, the world will be influenced for the better in ways we never imagined.

Recycle. Every kid in every elementary school across the nation knows the slogan, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” But do we? I’ll admit that I’m one of those people who only remembers to recycle when there are official blue and white recycling bins handy, and when I say “handy,” I mean within arm’s length. If a recycling bin is on the other side of the room, there’s no way I’m recycling. My elementary teachers would be scandalized, I know. But lately, I’ve heard that recycling is good for the environment. Apparently it helps resources last longer so the world doesn’t end as quickly. Exciting, huh?

Vote. Okay, so I know this already happened, but I also know that not everyone voted. Sometimes even recycling can’t fix everything. When this is the case, and the world requires more than blue and white tubs, ballot boxes come in to save the day.

During the elections, you can influence important people to do what you want. If one person doesn’t do what you want, voting allows you to support someone who does. Voting forces an important person to talk to other important people all over the world about what you think is important. This is one of the easiest, but most necessary, ways that we as college students can be a part of large scale change.

It doesn’t matter which candidate you support or what party you are affiliated with. The main aspect of the election is to become informed about the possibilities that are out there. Also, if you didn’t vote because you didn’t know about the candidates, shame on you! Countless resources were available to help you discover all you could want to know about the candidates. However, if you were well informed and didn’t vote because you simply didn’t agree with either of the candidates, we can still be friends. Probably.

Give. Everyone says it’s better to give than to receive. As college students, none of us have any extra money, but we can do little things like pick daisies or color pretty pictures to brighten someone’s day. Give resources, but also give your time. Every one of us is super busy, but taking just a little time to help someone or listen to a problem makes a huge difference. Simpson offers a ton of volunteer opportunities, and each one is a huge help to the community.

Become a superhero. Superheroes can fix anything. Roll in a vat of toxic waste. Move to Indianola from a far-away galaxy. Play with poisonous spiders. Spice your meals with radioactive chemicals. Get too close to a nuclear explosion. Whatever does not kill you and the rest of the planet will turn you into a superhuman, and you can now make the world a better place. What’s left of it, that is.

Super heroes are very handy for defeating evil villains and saving the world from absolute desolation. Unfortunately, capes and tights are rather impractical for everyday life. Feel free to come up with a super secret identity. No one will ever suspect that the mild-mannered kid sitting in Pfeiffer is also capable of saving the world.

If your class schedule is too taxing for you to spend much time as a superhero, don’t fret. Let other, more experienced superheroes battle it out with the forces of evil while you study for that exam.

No matter what you choose to do, realize that any effort you make has an impact, no matter how inconsequential it seems at the time. If you really want to make the world a better place, feel free to do all of these and expand upon them. After all, superheroes recycle too!