May 24, 2018 I WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT HOW? Hey Nikki, You’ve really inspired me, just like Malala Yousafzai, Rosa Parks, and my mom. I want to change the world! But the problem is, I’m too shy to speak out. Plus, I feel like nobody will ever listen to me. Any tips for how to change the world? I Want To Make The World A Better Place Hi I Want To Make The World A Better Place, Wow! Well first of all, thank you! That is amazing company you put me in! Malala is TOTALLY one of my heroes. The way she has fought for the right for girls’ education even after a horrible attack—amazing! And Rosa Parks was an important figure in the Civil Rights movement—so inspiring!! I bet your mom has done amazing things, too. I know mine has—just putting up with Brianna should earn her some sort of medal! 🙂 I’m not sure I even deserve to be on your list. After all, I just write goofy diaries and share them with the world. But then again…maybe my goofy diaries are a good example that you don’t HAVE to be the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Prize, like Malala, in order to change the world. I get lots of letters from kids telling me how my diaries helped them stand up for themselves, not to bully others, or to be proud of who they are. So, I guess I AM doing something to change the world. And so can you! I think it helps to start small. No matter how confident or amazing you are, you’re not going to solve homelessness, drug addiction or gun violence on your own. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference! There’s this story my dad tells that’s kind of cheesy, but I still love it. He says there was this kid on a beach where a bunch of starfish had washed up and the tide was going out. He started gently tossing starfish back into the ocean, so they wouldn’t die. A guy came along and said, “Kid, there’s miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You’re never going to be able to make a difference.” And the kid picked up another and threw it in the water and said, “Made a difference to that one.” And sometimes starting small grows in ways you don’t expect. Like sure, the kid made a difference for that one starfish. Maybe he also inspired someone else to help toss starfish back in the water, so then the kid’s efforts made even more of an impact. I think it also helps to remember you don’t have to be this super confident public speaker like Malala to make a difference. That’s one way to make a difference. But there are lots of amazing change-makers who are making change in the communities around them without a lot of attention. It can be kind of overwhelming if you want to fix everything that’s broken in the world. So I believe you should think about what you feel most passionate about. Maybe it’s the environment, racism, poverty, or bullying. Then, when you’ve picked your issue, you can think about ways to make a change right in your community. Maybe in your home, your school, or your neighborhood. Here are things you could do to start small that wouldn’t take a loud, outgoing personality: Run a food or clothing donation drive. Hold a bake sale to raise money for a cause. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter. Pick up litter in a park. Go out of your way to be kind to kids who don’t have many friends. Help your family organize a system to recycle more or consume less. Join clubs at school that are working for environmental or social justice causes. By doing any of these things, you WILL be making a difference. Plus you might even make some new friends who have similar interests. And working together, you’ll make even more of a difference! 🙂 I bet you’re already making a difference in people’s lives. But if you focus on one area, start small, and work with others, I bet you’ll do even more good! What’s something that you could do to make your school or community a better place? Tell us in the comments!