A sub-theme of the most recent Public Affairs Conference was the importance of student activism and the power of our
young generation. Community members asked questions about how they could ameliorate world problems, and speakers shared their enthusiasm about young people and their general inclination to care about the state of their communities and the world. Whether you attended the conference as a delegate or not, we feel this lesson is one from which all Principians can benefit.
In a recent meeting with College President Dr. Jonathan Palmer, the conversation turned to the value of dialogue between community members and the need for students to advocate for issues about which they feel passionately. Dr. Palmer explained that he would like to “improve and expand the conversation on key topics” and have students lead those discussions more regularly.
We already care about issues that affect our world and our daily lives: issues like the semester transition or – dare we say it – homosexuality. But if all we ever do is take a cursory interest in problems we feel need to be addressed, positive change cannot happen at the rate it needs to. In fact, several of this year’s PAC speakers made the point that a single person may find it difficult – even impossible – to change the world. If, however, one person has an idea and others support him or her in helping it to fruition, change will occur more naturally.
Of course, the editors aren’t saying that we’re personally doing all we can to tackle the problems of this community or our world. We hope to practice what we preach at Principia and beyond. Just because we live in the “Prin Bubble” doesn’t mean we have to be complacent.
There are many ways to begin effecting world change as part of such a small community. It’s actually pretty simple. Run for a spot in student government, write for the Pilot, take up a cause that you care about, volunteer in our community, or just branch out and make a new friend. Though these steps may seem inconsequential, smaller efforts can culminate in global transformation.
As Jim Henson, a childhood inspiration, once said, “My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.”
Why not start now?
M. & K.