Top 3 Tips to Make a Difference in the World
I know, “changing the world” sounds daunting. It sounds like something other people do. But we can all make a positive impact on the world, every day. Big changes start small, and all we have to do is get started! Here are three tips I try to remind myself of every day:
Failure is hard. But it’s also inevitable. Making a difference in the world takes time, energy, and adaptability. I wrote and published a children’s poetry book on Amazon with my classmates, and we donate 100% of our proceeds to funding literacy programs for homeless youth. What people buying our book on Amazon can’t see is how much heart and soul we poured into making the finished product. They can’t see that for every poem in our book, I had to throw away 15 other poems that just didn’t fit. They can’t see that I had to submit the book to Amazon 12 times before Amazon agreed to publish it. With almost everything in life--from the movies we watch to the food we eat---people work assiduously behind the scenes to produce the final product. I can assure you that you’ll have to start from square one multiple times. But try to get comfortable with starting fresh, and meet each restart with fresh eyes. Open your mind to new ideas and approaches, and when one fails, move onto the next!
Starting small is good, but don’t stop there. Making a difference in the world doesn’t have to be a giant ordeal. Treating people kindly, picking up trash off the streets, or even voting are great ways to have a positive impact on society. Not everyone has the ability to spark large-scale change, and even something as simple and universal as a smile can make a difference. But if you really care about a cause, keep aiming higher! Contact government agencies or news publications--whatever it takes to spread the word about your mission. Be prepared to hear “no”. I’ve been told by hundreds upon hundreds of people that they can’t help with our project, but it only took a couple “yes’s” to get it off of the ground. You will probably hear 100 rejections before one person decides to help you, but that one person might be an incredible resource to promote your passion.
Yes, you can! Never tell yourself otherwise. Our mindsets are really the only thing standing between us and success. We can overcome almost every obstacle, but if our heads are in the wrong place, we can’t make a difference. I would know--I originally made excuses, convincing myself that people would never listen to high-school students. But they did! Once I got down to work, our project flourished. It's a cliche because it’s true: if you really care about something and put your mind towards inciting change, nothing can stop you. As the saying goes, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” So don’t doubt it, just do it!
My name is Storey Wertheimer and I am a senior at New West Charter High School in Los Angeles. I just published a book on Amazon to help homeless children, and I am hoping since you are in a position of influence with The McCord List Institute, you may be able to help me. I would be so grateful for any advice you might have!
The book is called Animals Are Out Of This World and is a compilation of poetry my classmates and I wrote. 100% of our proceeds go to a non-profit organization I created called "Verses for the Voiceless" which will use the money to support literacy programs for the 2.5 million homeless children in America (see link to our website below).
We want to spread the word about our book and our vision to help homeless youth. Our hope is to be featured in some type of news story or social media post to drive book sales, but I’m open to any ideas you might have. This is something I'm very passionate about and I would truly appreciate your help. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email and for sharing your thoughts.