“How to Change the World”


I saw this photo across Facebook today, and wanted to share it with you.

When I look at the different boxes in this picture, I think about the stages of change that have taken place, and what was required to make those changes for progress.

Looking at the picture as is, I’m sure some may see it as overly idealistic or simplistic.

However I think going through the phases of progress in this picture, moving from “box to box” as they are played out in real life can take many years, sometimes decades, sometimes centuries when I think about various social justice movements.

I think the key here is consistency. It might take time to see progress, but in this photo, I see that there was at least one person who stayed true to spreading the message of love. This in turn was able to help others join the cause.

Your Thoughts?

Grace & Peace,

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW



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Written by

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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2 Responses

  1. Zapoura says:

    I really appreciate this graphic and your post this week. As the fall term here at PSU winds down, I’ve been talking a lot with my students about how to continue community engagement beyond our community-based learning class. They’ve been talking about the spectrum of engagement and ideas for continuing community work, but I think they feel overwhelmed. And I truly know the feeling.

    This graphic really gets to the way a movement (a bigger group or our individual movements toward being people who stand for and act for social justice) ebbs and flows and the way singular acts to matter and do build over time. In one of my writing classes, we just read a Paul Loeb essay that talks about the “real” Rosa Parks and the fact that she was part of a much longer term commitment to learning and action even though the history books focus the single moment where she refused to leave her seat on that bus. Knowing that there is a process and that it takes time helps, I think. It makes social change feel less daunting. Just a few thoughts before I rush out the door to teach. Thank you for all of your writing here…

    • Thank you for your comment Zapoura! I certainly hope your students stay encouraged. Looking at this picture reminds me that change happens on a continuum . Understanding this definitely makes social change feel less daunting for me when I’m feeling stuck or when times become difficult. Every bit of work we do matters. Every effort can build on the contributions of those who came before and serve to make things better for the ones to follow.

      I’m hoping that sharing this with your students will serve to help them as well in their struggles.

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