Youth can make a difference

The student with a far-sighted and imaginative outlook will have the power to think and act differently, and no doubt, it will stand him/her in good stead on his/her struggle for victory.

There is a beautiful poem written by the American poet Robert Frost titled, ‘The Road Not Taken’. In the poem, the poet is standing at a junction where the road through which he had been travelling is divided into two. There he waits and thinks as to which path he should take.  He observed both the ways perfectly and found that one was covered with grass and the other was clean. It indicated which road was mostly used by the passengers. At the end of the poem, which is autobiographical to a great extent, the poet says that he decided to travel through the path which was least used and that made all the difference in his life.

It is your ability to take risks, sometimes, that makes all the difference. There will be hundreds to pull you from behind pointing out the various dangers hidden on the way. But, if you have the mental toughness to carry on without being afraid of the challenges, you will surely emerge victorious. 

Normally you have a feeling that you cannot do much about the different problems in the society. Many say, ‘I am only a single person therefore I am helpless’. If you are one of those who think like this, you should take some serious steps to come back to proper thinking. Because, this types of thinking will take away your self-confidence.

Though you are a single person you can do something meaningful in the society. What you need for that is the confidence that you can bring about some changes in the world. You may not be able to change everyone in the world. But, you can be sure of changing one person – yourself. If everybody accepts it and changes himself, the whole world will turn out to be a beautiful place to live in.

Diogenes was a famous Greek thinker who aspired to bring about changes in the society. Once as he was walking on the street he saw a man stumbling on a stone on the way. The man looked at the stone and walked away cursing it. Diogenes wanted to know how different people reacted to such a situation. Therefore, he waited for hours and watched people walking along the path. Once of his friends asked him why he was standing there laughing alone. Diogenes said, “More than ten persons have already stumbled on the stone. All of them looked at it and cursed it. But nobody has removed it to prevent someone else’s stumbling. How foolish and selfish man is!”

One way or another everyone has a vital role to play in this world. Now, your responsibility is to know how you can make a change in this world, by playing your role well. It was Shakespeare who compared the world to a stage and human beings actors on it. The life of every human being can be considered a success only when he shows faithfulness to the role allotted for him.

An unknown poet has written a beautiful poem describing the thoughts of an old man, The summary of the poem is thus” “When I was a young man I wanted to change the world. Years later, I found that it was difficult to change the world. Sp decided to be satisfied with changing my nation. When I found that I couldn’t change the nation I began to focus on my town. By that I had lost a good part of my life. Since I couldn’t change the town I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man I realize that the only thing I can change is myself. If long ago I had changed myself I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have brought some changes in the nation and the world too’.

If you want to make some changes in the world, the best place to start with is you yourself. You may not be able to control anyone else in the world. But you can be sure of controlling and changing yourself. As Abraham Lincoln says, “The way to change the world is not to work upon the world but to start working and introducing changes in yourself.

A British newspaper once asked its readers, “What is wrong with the world?” One of the letters it received was from the famous writer, G.K. Chesterton. His answer to the question was very short. It just said, “I am.”

The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything. Are you ready to make a difference in the world around you? Am I…?

The power to make a difference lies within each one of us. If our faith is strong and constant, our effort to make a difference will be more than what we ever thought possible. All we need to do is to act as if our desires were already realities. To make a difference does not mean making a big splash or doing something that makes people yell “Wow!” Some people proudly call it ‘leaving a legacy.’

Great results cannot be achieved at once. It is the little drops that make a mighty ocean; little acts of kindness add up to a mighty deed. Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”


About John Parankimalil

John Parankimalil, SDB, M.A. (English), M.Ed, Ph.D (Education), popularly known as P.D. Johny is a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He is presently the Rector and Principal of Don Bosco College, Tura, Meghalaya and Director of Don Bosco College of Teacher Education, Tura. He received the 1st Computer Literacy Excellence Award from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the President of India in August 2002 and the Guruvar Best Teacher Award from Shri Kapil Sibal, HRD Union Minister in 2009. He was formerly Principal of St Anthony's Higher Secondary School, Shillong and National President of All India Association of Catholic Schools (AINACS), New Delhi and the Charter President of Rotary Club of Orchid City, Shillong. He has authored several books. He is an Eduationist, Story-Teller and Leadership Trainer. He conducts seminars for Principals, Teachers, Students and Parents. His popular books include, He Can Who Thinks He Can (Macmillan), An Elocution Manual (Orient Longman), Progressive Parenting (Unicorn), Inspirational Stories for Purposeful Living (Babhani) The Way to Success and Happiness (Savio), How to Win Over Your Problems (Babhani), The Secrets of High Achievers (Babhani).
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