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The Face of Change

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Al Gore. Prince Charles. Anita Roddick. David Suzuki. One name can be used to describe these people: the faces of change. All are names that have come to be associated with words like 'activist', 'environmentalist", and 'hero'. These are people whose outstanding efforts have made them celebrities, and who are deeply respected for their accomplishments. The public eye is constantly on them, watching the various ways that these figures attempt to repair the world. They write eye-opening novels and documentaries; they fight to have laws and policies changed; they found eco-friendly companies and charities dedicated to fighting global warming; they invent new, creative ways to save energy. They win awards.


However, the majority of the population sees these role models as being at a different, higher level than regular people. If this is true, then their actions must also be unattainable for others. This idea is reflected in the prevalent mentality of today's society ' that the global leaders are the only ones with the power to make a difference. What is not usually realized is that it is this very attitude that sets apart the 'heroes' from everyone else. It is not recognition or fame that gives the well-known activist the right to act, but rather the courage to dream that brings fame and recognition to the dreamer.


Each and every person can dream. In the dark of night, safe under layers of blankets; when classes are particularly boring and thoughts begin to wander; when things go wrong, or not as planned. Our dreams define who we are, and give us hope in the best and worst of times. Now, as our planet is rapidly deteriorating, it is time to add one more dream to the many we hold dear: a world with green grass and colourful flowers, blue skies and clear waters, soaring birds and roaming animals. In this world, children will breathe in clean air without fear, and pollution and carelessness will be things of the past.


With that perfect vision in our minds, it is time to take action! It is simply not enough anymore to rely on a select few to save the world. That power has been bestowed on each of us, and using it is so effortless. There ought to be no such thing as a 'regular' person: everyone can be a hero. Turn off a light in an empty room. Write on both sides of a sheet of paper. Recycle glass bottles, aluminum cans and cardboard boxes. Buy environmentally friendly cleaning and food products. Making these small but important changes in our everyday routines and lifestyle may seem insignificant, but is, in fact, the means through which our generation will change the global mindset.


So, what is the face of change? I couldn't say - just go check in the mirror.




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