I’m addicted to the new Madonna song. Hey — sometimes when things are tough all you can do to keep from falling apart is get a little silly. But seriously, it’s an interesting idea, too. Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time or enough power for one person to make a difference. While it’s true that more people can do more, I still believe in the power of the purposeful individual, too.
When I was back home in Alaska last week I saw a bumper sticker with the question: What did you want to be when you grew up? We discussed it in the car all the way home. The first time I remember thinking about what I wanted to be was when I was 5 and my mom asked me. I said, “ballerina.” I have no idea why I said it or how I even thought of it. (And anyone who knows me today is laughing so hard they can’t breathe right now.) But my first real answer to that question was that I always had a strong sense that I wanted to “make a difference.” In truth, when a teacher asked me the same question in high school I answered “change the world.”
And when we saw that bumper sticker last week and I got to thinking about it, I realized that in some way or another most of my adult work/volunteer experience has been on that track. I was (briefly) a preschool teacher. I was a reporter (which can go either way I admit, but I like to think I was laboring with honor and good intentions). And along the way there’s been activism and volunteering and other good stuff. And this has all led me to a job where I will get to wake up every day and pour my heart into the work I’ve been building toward — making a difference in people’s lives; helping people; and yes, sometimes even changing the world (or at least my little corner of it).
I am very excited about what is to come as I step into my new role at PLAN. I hope that Siren readers (my peeps!) will come along for the ride. Together, I think we are going to be able to do some kick-ass activism and some amazing things. And yes, maybe even change the world.