By Jorian Lewke
As I was getting ready this morning, I had my music blasting as always. About halfway through my morning routine, John Mayer’s Waiting on the World to Change came on. I knew all the words and sang along as I always do. I love music, but I love words more and the power that they have, so I end up listen more to the lyrics and the meaning behind them then the actual tune of a song. The song starts out with:
“Me and all my friends
We’re all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There’s no way we ever could”
and ends with:
“It’s not that we don’t care,
We just know that the fight ain’t fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change”
I guess I can see where he is coming from. I think he’s talking about the younger generation of which I am part of (I’m 17). But I just can’t see how waiting is a plausible option. If we wait for the world to change, who is changing it? There are things that we need to work on NOW. No need to wait. It also seems like people just give up because this “changing the world” business seems complicated, so why try? My personal answer to this question came from a writing assignment from my eighth grade teacher. It was something along the lines of “What do you want to do with your life” and I remember really having a hard time answering it. I ended up saying, “I just want to change people’s worlds. I don’t know if I can change the world, but maybe I can change individual people’s worlds.” And newsflash, we can all do that. By changing one person’s life, you create a ripple effect that eventually touches (and changes) the whole world.
This past weekend, Mal Keenan gave me the opportunity to do just that – change individual people’s worlds. I had the honor of running A to Z’s book give-a-way station at Immanuel Lutheran Church’s “Clinic.” It is truly an amazing day to be a part of. Immanuel gathers general physicians, eye doctors, photographers (for family portraits), barbers and dentists to give the less fortunate folks in our area the opportunity to take advantage of all of these services for free. Later in the day, a food truck comes and folks are able to leave with groceries free of charge as well. Last year was A to Z’s first year participating, and I hope we continue to. We are one of the last stations and we have the honor of giving kids books to take home. The smile on their faces when we say, “take as many as you want!” is unforgettable. My favorite moments are when adults come and want to take books for their kids Christmas or birthday presents. It’s one thing to make a kids day by giving them books, but to know you are also making some kids have gifts to open on their birthday or on Christmas morning is priceless. I believe we set up eight or nine boxes of books and left with one small box. Proof that we made an impact! I truly hope A to Z continues to help at this incredible community event and I know Mal and this organization will continue to make ripples of change in the world through the gift of literacy.