“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
SEL Connection: When students hear the mantra “You can make a difference in the world,” there’s often an eye-roll. Students struggle to see how the actions of a few can have big consequences for the many. The fallout of this attitude is that many won’t decide to participate in that school-wide fundraiser, start that club or vote in the next election. What’s the point? It’s not going to make a difference.
(1) Claim: To think we can’t change the world is nonsense, according to American anthropologist Margaret Mead. Change always starts with small groups of people believing in an idea for change and committing themselves to see the idea through to completion. Change works from the bottom up, starting with a few passionate people.
(2) Counterclaim: Sometimes, though, change can work from the top down. The leader is the one who sees an injustice and seizes the opportunity to make the difference. A quick glimpse through the lives of some of our most influential presidents like Abraham Lincoln shows us that leaders are the true agents of change.
(3) Question: Should citizens or leaders be more responsible for changing society?