Make your mark


Jaida Sorensen

25 ideas from anonymous LHS students about how we can each make an impact on our world today.

Carly Wheeler, Perspectives Editor

One quick scroll through the news, and it’s not hard to see that our world is flawed, to say the least. Just in the last couple of weeks, news broke that China has detained millions of Uyghur Muslims in “re-education” camps where they are being tortured. This weekend, violent protests concerning economic disputes in Beirut, Lebanon led to 46 hospitalizations. But what can we, as high school students, do to improve upon the serious issues of our world? It’s a daunting question with one simple answer: start small.

It’s the little things we do today that are going to matter the most tomorrow. During the Holocaust, Anne Frank famously observed in her diary, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Even as a young child, cooped up and hiding away in an attic to escape the horrendous dangers just outside her door, Frank realized that positive, individual actions make it possible to improve our world. That’s right, no matter how unattainable it may seem, we can all make a difference in one way or another. 

Don’t underestimate the endless potential of your actions. Of course, we can’t instantly stop crime around the world, but we can open the door for someone in the morning or smile to someone in the hallway during the day. 

Here are 25 small ways you can improve the world today, as suggested by anonymous LHS students. 

  • “Donate a tree or plant one.”
  • “By stepping outside yourself and being aware of others’ needs.” 
  • “Have a conversation with someone you don’t know.”
  • “Tip a waiter extra.” 
  • “Pick up any litter you see!”
  • “…volunteer in our community.”
  • “Eat vegan for the day!”
  • “Give money to fundraisers.” 
  • “Remind someone how much they mean to you.” 
  • “Make sure people know that they’re loved.” 
  • “Just say hi.”
  • “Speak up about your ideas.”
  • “Sit by someone who’s sitting alone.” 
  • “Give a smile to strangers.”
  • “Compliment someone you don’t know.”
  • “Buy someone lunch.” 
  • “By being a little nicer to the environment.” 
  • “Tutor students who need more help.” 
  • “Focus on the real issues going on in society instead of going against one another.”
  • “Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru line.”
  • “Give a hug!”
  • “Support each other.”
  • “Look for the positives in everything.” 
  • “Open the door for not just myself.” 
  • “Donate food to help stop hunger.” 

This short list of ideas barely brushes the surface of all of the possible small steps we can take to patch together our broken world. My challenge to you is this: at school today, complete one of these actions. In the words of Anne Frank, “nobody,” not me, not you, not any of the countless students and teachers in the LHS hallways every day, “need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Each and every person has the ability to make an impact in our world through their actions. Find your impact, and run with it. Make your mark.