The world is a very big place, and it can often feel overwhelming to think about how we can even begin to solve some of the problems it faces. Here at Challenges Abroad, we like to step back and think about it on a smaller scale. We often imagine what would happen if every person had the opportunity to make a difference, and we think it would be kind of like a jigsaw puzzle. Individually each person would only make a small impact, but if every single person in the world – all 7 billion of us – did their bit to make a change, this would all come together like the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle to make a huge positive impact on the world!
This is what we think the world would look like if this were to happen:
Imagine if everyone was able to visit a marginalised community to experience another way of life, and see how others face so many extra challenges simply because of where they were born. We’d see people just like us who don’t deserve the hard life they have been dealt, and maybe we’d become more considerate of others and less consumed by the busyness of our own lives. We’d be quicker to lend a helping hand than to judge and through this we’d become a society of compassionate citizens who can change the world by being just that, compassionate.
Something we’ve noticed in the communities we work with who have been subject to disadvantage is that their sense of community and strength as a collective group is so strong. They value the people around them and the experiences they share far more than any material thing. If more people had the opportunity to experience this strength first hand, each individual would be more likely to consider their biggest asset as the people surrounding them. Imagine what we could achieve together as a world community of united and empowered citizens!
It can be confronting and often upsetting to see upfront how disadvantage can affect a community. But rather than causing us to feel resentment towards the injustices of the world, it teaches us gratitude. We realise how much we should be grateful for, and how we should be taking the opportunity to smile a little bit wider, laugh a bit harder and celebrate the little things that make us happy. Living, working and building relationships with people who don’t have the privilege of being born in a safe and affluent community can teach us a lot about how appreciating the simple things in life will help us get through each day.
We love this quote by Margaret Mead, who says “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. We truly believe that if we all did one thing to make a positive impact in the life of another, there would be a whole lot more thoughtful and committed citizens changing the world. Are you ready to join a global community of people who care and take on the challenge?