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I Don’t Have to Save the World Today and Neither Do You

So, I have this problem. 

It’s not, like, a bad problem, necessarily. 

And it’s not one of those problems where I have brief moments of anxiety, like when I misplace my debit card or accidentally forget to take table 61 the fried green beans they ordered twenty minutes ago. 

I’m a waitress. And before you ask, no, that’s not the problem. (Although, it could be another problem for another day, I suppose.) 

No, this problem sort of gnaws away at my insides. It makes my blood boil and my heart ache and sends my stomach twirling in knots. 

You see, I wanna save the world. And that really is quite the problem. 

It’s problematic because some might say, the world can’t be saved. Especially not by one person. And that’s the part that hurts so much. 

And even more so, there’s not just one thing the world needs saving from. 

For those who know me, it’s no secret that I’m passionate about lots of things. Specifically climate activism and suicide prevention and awareness. These are the things I devote most of myself to. 

But I also care about lack of education, water and shelter all around the globe. I care about corruption within politics. I get angry when I hear heartbreaking sex trafficking stories and I spend a lot of time thinking about how inhumane hate crimes are. 

And the truth is, the list goes on. There’s a lot wrong with the world. 

And somehow, somewhere, I began to develop the daunting desire to save the world. 

But the older I get, the harder reality sinks in. The more I realize that I really am just some small, Colorado girl with virtually no platform or power. Yet still, I try. 

And it’s taking a lot out of me, really, which is also part of the problem. 

I put a lot of pressure on myself to always do something productive, important and worthy. I’ve set a plethora of expectations for myself in terms of how I will impact the people and environment around me. 

I never say no to people and I hardly ask for help. I go out of my way to be helpful and kind, and I spend an ungodly amount of time at rallies, marches, events, meetings and the like for things like climate change and mental health awareness. 

It’s like I’m trying to make myself Superman or something — which is pretty conceited of me to even think I have the capability. Plus, Spider-Man is better. 

But I do these things because I like to, I want to and I’m very passionate about them. 

But still, it’s pretty clear that on my own I’m not really going to be able to save the world from melting ice caps or deforestation or anything in between. 

And I’m tearing myself apart about it. But how can I expect myself to do all this saving?

I’ve created this perfectly impossible version of myself; the one where I save the world seamlessly and never trip in the process. I hate that perfectly impossible version of myself because really, she’s unattainable. She can’t exist.

But I can still go to marches and rallies. I can still write about these passions. I can still recycle and donate and repost important messages.

Sitting on the steps of the Capitol after a very long day of trying to save the world.

Because while these things seem mundane and virtually ineffective, something is more than nothing.

And if we all do something, if we all play a small part, it will make a difference eventually.

And that’s what we should shoot for, I think.

In an article by Melanie Shankle titled, Why the Small Things Matter, it’s important to remember that even though one voice might not be the loudest or most noticed, that doesn’t mean it isn’t making a difference.

So, what I’m hearing, is that I don’t need a platform or power to start making change. Even this tiny Colorado girl has something to offer this great, big world.

And maybe I can’t save the world today, or tomorrow, or next week. But I can do my part ruthlessly and hope it’ll inspire others to do the same.

Because then, someday, the world will change. And that’s what I’m going for.

And as heartbreaking as it is to not be able to fix everything with the snap of my fingers, my passion and my love for this earth will take me far enough to make a difference somewhere down the road.

I’ll just have to find peace in that.

Madisyn Gentry

Madisyn Gentry was born and raised in Greeley, CO. Growing up in colorful Colorado has been the perfect place for her to explore, spend time reading under big trees, and enjoy the outdoor sun. She is currently a senior in high school, set to graduate in May 2020. Gentry is a very outspoken individual. She leads her life in kindness and uses her voice, both out loud and in writing. She is a climate activist, she advocates for equal rights for all, and works relentlessly to empower the ones around her. She will be attending the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO in fall 2020 to study journalism. She currently writes for her local newspaper, The Greeley Tribune. Informing her community and beyond is a passion she has been chasing for quite some time now. Gentry has four younger siblings, all of whom she adores more than life itself. Each one of them serves as a reminder to her that family is one of the most important pieces of our journey here on earth. Through her writing, Gentry hopes to touch the lives of her community, and someday, the world.

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