Poltics are important. If you are of the voting age, you should educate yourself about the issues, the platforms, and go vote. The nation we live in is a democracy, so we should all participate in that democracy as we are able.
However, as influential as the political realm may be, we cannot rely on it to create lasting change in our nations or in our world. We cannot depend on government to change peoples’ attitudes, to fight racism, or to help the poor.
Why? Because government is merely one institution among many in the United States of America. And the United States of America is made up of millions of individuals with diverse perspectives, attitudes and experiences. Those voices will never agree on everything, but they agree on one thing: we need change.
Lasting change can be difficult to envision, and thinking about the process can likely make one’s head spin. But there are ways, outside of political action, to create a lasting impact on the world.
There are churches, corporations and nonprofits. There are small businesses, startups and advocacy groups. Alone, it can be hard to feel useful and productive in the greater scope of our society, but through institutions it can be easier to effect change.
We cannot ask our government to do all the work for us. Many young people care about politics, which is great—but we cannot let politics be the only outlet for our beliefs. It can be easy to get complacent and feel as though we’re taking action when truly, we merely posted on social media about our political position. This is not action, it’s talk.
Let us take our beliefs, our values, our morals and turn them into something tangible. Let us not just talk, but take action by loving those around us and working toward innovative solutions to societal problems. There are resources available to those who want to help, and people will support ideas that push toward common good.
We have to hope in the ability of individual people to create an impact bigger than themselves, and trust that there are many—on either side of the aisle—who want to help, love and serve those in their communities and around the world.
Jesus calls us to love, and he directs us to care for the poor. Let us not rely on the government to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but instead carry out God’s will by doing it ourselves.
It can seem like too much. We feel so small sometimes. How can we actually be the hands and feet of Jesus? There is so much evil in the world, and we do well just to keep our heads down. It’s overwhelming. But it can be done.
Start small. Purchase a snack for a stranger, and hand-deliver it with a smile. Write a card to a professor and drop it in campus mail. Send a text to someone you’ve hurt. Say “I’m sorry” when you really don’t want to. If we are faithful in the small things, then when the time comes for something huge, we will be ready. Love others a little harder today and every day.