Tess Exshaw - 13 September, 2017
The first time I realized that humans had the power to change their environment for the worst was when I saw the movie Waterworld when I was about 11 years old. This movie basically shows an earth under water with a few humans left living on boats trying to find a piece of land not immerged. This movie really marked me and made me realize the small things we do everyday that impact climate change, and more broadly our environment. Every small little action we take today has an impact, whether we see it or not, but someone one day will. When you are kid you have a tendency (I had a tendency) to think of things as black or white. But as I grew older, I realized that some of the things that cause climate change have sometimes a greater purpose or good. It’s easy to say that we should stop using cars because of the bad impact it has but can we really say that we should stop using all the great machines and equipment that can now save lives in medicine? And so much more could be associated to this simple question; it is not black or white. In reality we live in a world that has a lot of grey parts to it. All our actions, even the good ones, can ultimately result in harm. As humans we need to take a step back and think through how our actions affect our environment, the people.
It can be overwhelming to think about all the harm in the world, all the problems we have. However, I am a strong believer that saying “it’s just not worth it, it won’t make a difference” is the WORST possible sentence to say. We all are part of community and alone or within a community we all have the power to make a change. You never know how simple and small an action might look like for you, how amazing and incredible someone else might see it like or what amazing consequences could happen.
There are a lot of clubs on campus that will allow you to make a change for whatever cause you believe in while doing it with friends. But don’t limit yourself to what is available, at Queen’s Conference on Philanthropy we have many entrepreneurial speakers that come every year and it’s amazing to see what passion, perseverance and the belief in a cause can do. We all have the power to make change, an impact, and there are many ways to achieve those and contribute in building a better tomorrow for our world, you just need to find how you want to make an impact.