City of Winnipeg | Libraries

How to Change the World

by Elke,

Did you ever notice an injustice and wanted to fix it? Was there something you wanted to change at school, in your community or in the world? While there are many things that are just great, there is also a never-ending supply of things that need improvement – sometimes very badly. Often you cannot wait for somebody else to tackle these issues, and neither should you. You want to start acting NOW. It is just too important to let it slide.

lubinNancy Lublin has written a very useful book for young activists.

Do Something!  is divided into five main sections:
-“See it” will help you find your “thing”; what is important to you

-“Believe it” will help you to find out why the problem is important

-“Build it” will help you figure out what you can do about the issue. She lists about 32 ideas addressing a great variety of issues we are faced with today. There is also a whole section where you can work on your own ideas for projects.

-“Do it” will help you to work out the details, such as finding a name for your project or writing a mission statement

-“Reflect it” helps you to keep track of what worked and what didn’t. There are ideas on how to keep the momentum going or how to get others involved to help you with or take over your project when you are ready to move on.

It can be overwhelming to take on a cause that is important to you, even if you are very passionate about it. This book will help you break it down into small manageable steps to make reaching your goal easier.

If you want to get busy improving the world but are not quite sure what all there is that needs improvement, this book by Michael Norton will have an idea for every day of the year. Whatever you settle on, there will be plenty of ideas on how to go about tackling it. You will be encouraged by reading about people who successfully took the step to “be the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandhi). If you have already decided on a cause you will be empowered by the sixty-page Action Guide which is jam-packed with advice on how to get organized and take your ideas into a world just waiting for your energy and creativity to get things going.

“A freighter at full speed has massive momentum. A civilization has even more. We’ve only been trying to change course for a short time, opposed by huge vested interests and our own habits of mind. No wonder the change isn’t swift or smooth. It’s a time of bold advances and shameful retreats, apathy and innovation. Fresh data and events are constantly arriving. What better time to have our eyes wide open?” says Paul Fleischman on his website.

eyeswideopenIn his book Eyes Wide Open he is encouraging the readers to do just that – keep their eyes open, notice,  gather as much information as possible, reflect and act after giving consideration to their findings. It is not a self-help book telling you step by step what you need to do to save the earth but a book to make you think and discover your own power of making decisions about what you eat, what you buy, what transportation you use, where you put your energies and your money and how you vote or which party you support. While the book is geared towards the challenges we face in connection with climate change, reading this book will certainly help the reader to get the thinking process going in many other fields. After all, everything is connected.

beachangemakerThe latest addition to our library’s collection is Be a Changemaker by Laurie Ann Thompson. Using  numerous examples of real-life activism, the  author  outlines how children and teens can become involved in their communities. Lists and bullet points offer pointers and direction, such as starting a “venture journal” to gather ideas. You will find  profiles of youth-founded organizations. Young and successful activists  are portrait  throughout. The author also shares her thoughts based on her  own nonprofit work and experience.

So go ahead and be a  changemaker! Be the person who takes the initiative to create positive social change. Start a school garden. Get involved in helping animals in your city or on the farm. Find a challenge and work to find a way to resolve  it.  You can make our world a better place by making others aware of a problem, starting a movement or putting new practices into place. If you don’t know where to start, the library is a good place to get ideas and resources to set you on the right path. Because…….

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss, The Lorax




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