Spread the World About Important Problems -- and Their Solutions
of the most important ways to make change happen is
to educate people about a problem -- and it's
solution. It used to be that when people
wanted to get others to pay attention to a big
problem, they had have protest marches, rallies, and
sit-ins. The problem was getting
enough people together, at the same time -- in order
to show other people that this was something a lot
of people cared about, that it was "a big deal", and
to give them more information about the issue.
have plenty of ways to share images and information.
Cell phones, text messaging, web cams, camera
phones, web sites, blogging, and more.
Kids can even print their own 'zines and newsletters
using just a pc, a printer, and some desktop
publishing software. The truth is, the
power that was once held by a few, and tightly
controlled by big business and government
bureaucracy, is now available to vast numbers of teenagers.
This Really Work?
about this: if insurgent fighters in Iraq can
make on-the-scene news footage with their cell
phones and broadcast it all over the world to gain
sympathy and support for their efforts... why
couldn't young people dedicated to a more loving and
peaceful cause do the same?
So what is
your issue, your cause? Where do you
really feel drawn to help out, to make a difference?
What situation in the world is intolerable to you,
and what do you want done about it?
Sometimes all it takes is helping people realize
what is going on, and helping them understand what
they can do about it.
take a little time to educate yourself. Talk
to teachers, read, discuss it with your parents and
friends. Find out what organizations are
already trying to do something about the problem
that is important to you. Then gather
helpful resources like website addresses, images,
and email addresses of important groups or people.
Then make a website or myspace page (with your
parents' permission) to showcase your information.
Write a little about your issue and why it matters
to you personally. Remember that images really
reach people. So if you can add pictures
or video, you will make a greater impression than if
you only put in words. Now include the
links and other contact info to web pages and other
resources that will help people learn more about
that you mention what needs to be done about the
problem. This could be donating to an
scientific or charitable organization or emailing a
government official. Or it might be staging an
event -- either to get a job done or raise money.
Most likely you will want them to also spread the
word about what needs to be done.
email or text message the web address or url to your
friends. Ask them to share it with their
friends in turn.
that if you create a space for people to leave
comments, or to email their opinion, you may get
"all kinds" -- meaning a lot of cranks and spammers.
So talk this over with your parents and teachers.
Getting feedback from visitors can be really useful.
But unfortunately not everyone who responds is
interested in offering a polite well-considered
opinion. Some are just looking to feel powerful by hurting
someone else's feelings or to vent their
frustrations. And others are looking to
advertise a "get rich quick" scheme right on your