So You Want to Change the World? Series Part One
Part One: Sharing Love in Newtown, and Beyond
Last week, an incomprehensible tragedy occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. The effects of this devastating event could not only be felt in the community of Sandy Hook Elementary, but in the hearts and minds of teens all across the nation. I have heard my friends repeatedly ask and wonder, “Why did this happen? What made Adam Lanza do it? How can we stop this from ever happening again?”
Though these questions have no easy answers, we do easily notice that teens don’t want to become a product of their society – we don’t want to align ourselves with a world filled with acts of thoughtless violence. We teens know that life can be so much more than what is now, but most of us just aren’t sure on the way we will achieve it. We want to change the world, but how?
Changing the world sounds like a pretty difficult task, not to mention a HUGE burden of responsibility. But it doesn’t have to be. It CAN be incredibly simple, if we choose it to be. In our first steps towards creating a New Cultural Story, we don’t need to change the world; we just need to change a few things in ourselves. In Conversations With God For Teens, Neale presents the Three Way Path: Have fun. Spread joy. Share love. By just applying these three simple ideas in our own thought, word, and deed, we will bring more change in our world than we could have ever hoped for. By being the embodiment of fun, joy, and love, we can be the change we wish to see in the world.
So, it’s not so tough after all. Teens across the nation are already changing the world, and they are doing it by sharing love with the residents of Newtown. One of the largely unpublished stories of the Sandy Hook Tragedy was a photograph from Reuters from the memorial of a floor-to-ceiling printout entitled “Stay Strong Newtown: 10,000 Teens Send Their Text Messages of Support.” For the single act of violence, 10,000 messages of love, comfort, and empathy were sent by these teens alone. These teens shared love, when love may seem hard to find. For the families involved in the tragedy, they are receiving and feeling that love. And that has made all the difference.
I thank not only those teens, but every teen who has sent their messages of love to a world that so desperately needs more of them in its inbox. Sharing love has shown that our generation truly believes in a new path with a new direction. We just need to forge on.
(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)