Last night I met a girl who is getting her Masters Degree in Social Work and Public Policy.
"Wow. That's amazing. You should be proud. You're going to change the world," I said.
"No, I'm not," she replied. "There are so many people out there with problems. If I save one person, there's just going to be somebody else with more problems right behind them."
"Okay, I can imagine it's overwhelming," I said. "But don't you believe that by positively impacting one person's life, they can positively impact another?"
"I don't know," she replied.
"If you don't know, you're in the wrong line of work," I said.
I woke up thinking about her. I've heard a similar theory regarding gang problems in LA. It's been compared to that arcade game "Whack a Mole." Put a gangster away and another pops up. I can see how it might feel that way for a social worker too.
But what if we applied that theory to everything? What if I didn't bother to recycle or use cloth bags to grocery shop because I figured my actions won't impact a global issue?
What if I decided it wasn't worth writing my stories because kids wouldn't learn something from them?
What do you think? Do you believe in a trickle down theory? Can we change the Earth, one reusable water bottle at a time? Can we make youth think, one story at a time?
3 years ago