There are three breeds of people. There are those who really want to make a difference in the world, those who don’t think that they can, and in-betweeners. For those who are somewhere in the middle, who know that there is something inherently wrong with society, but they don’t know what they can do, there are three things that you can improve to make a difference. When you sit back and don’t do anything, the problem will just continue. Problems such as poverty, abuse, racism, and more will continue from generation to generation unless everyone begins to take on a different mindset. From there, thoughts can become contagious, and real change can begin to occur. Although real change is difficult in just one generation, each oncoming generation will be molded by the mentors that stepped up to the plate. Here is how you can begin to make a difference in a positive way.
It Starts with You
This sounds like an easy thing, right? However, while most people wish for societal conditions to change, they don’t wish for themselves to change. Most individuals don’t see themselves as the problem. Their attitudes, actions, addictions, abuse, and other harmful behaviors towards themselves and others have a ripple effect on society. When we stop striving to do better- getting a better education, a better job, better housing and schooling for our children, taking care of our bodies—the list is almost limitless—when things go wrong it is easy to blame someone else. However, when we take personal responsibility for our own lives, and live by example, we are paving the way for others to follow in our footsteps. The best way to improve society is to improve ourselves and our own circumstances first.
Granted, it takes one person who is radical enough to change to start the domino effect, but it is easier to make an impact when you can recruit people for your cause. When you are up against the grain of autocracy, you can gain the support of individuals in a grassroots way. Whether it is in your job or field, through civic involvement, or by uniting resources in your community, there are many ways that you can make a difference if you are willing to act as a collective. Making society better takes a group of like-minded people to stand up for what they believe in. If they don’t, they will fall for anything. Keeping the motive pure—often keeping politics, religion, and other divisive issues out of the cause (unless that IS the cause)—will rally more to join your side.
The Next Generation
The greatest possible way to improve society is the better the generation that is coming up. One of the greatest ways to do this is to get into any kind of counseling or social work field. Adelphi's Social Work program emphasizes this. Not only is it important to improve yourself and to work as a team, but it is important to do something with those changes. The most impactful thing that you can do to improve society is to work with children and families who are dealing with challenges to help break the damaging cycles that impact our culture and environment. By creating a world of healthy children who are able to cope with their challenges in a positive way, you will then allow them to function as healthy adults and continue to pass those skills on as they get older. It takes a village to raise a child, and a field in social work is one way of getting paid to make a difference in society.
It all starts with each individual person. If we are all willing to do better as people, we are setting the bar high for those around us. When we work together as a team to accomplish greater things, we are making positive impacts on our society. However, when we are working to improve the lives of the next generation, we are planting the seeds for the trees that will eventually give us shade. Making an impact on society comes down to each individual choice that we make. Making the choice to work in the field of social work is one of the things that we can do to change the world.