Blog Assignment #8

Hello North House!

I hope you’ve all had a pleasant weekend. Hopefully none of you have spent it sinning and thus condemning yourself to hell.

hell

For this week’s blog assignment, rather than reflecting on society as a whole, I want you guys to reflect on yourselves as individuals of a society. I’m sure most of us have at one point pondered about the significance of our lives. There are roughly 7.4 billion people on this planet and each one lives out their lives until one day they die. So, how does the life of one individual change another’s? How does a woman taking care of her kids affect the world? How do we change the world when we wake up every morning and go to school?  Does speaking out about something matter when no one seems to be hearing? Do any of our actions actually matter in the grand scheme of things?

To help you guys in trying to determine your significance in society and this planet we call home, I leave you with an excerpt from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

When Dad was tucking me in that night and we were talking about the book, I asked if he could think of a solution to that problem.

“Which problem?”  

“The problem of how relatively insignificant we are.”  

He said,  “Well, what would happen if a plane dropped you in the middle of the Sahara Desert and you picked up a single grain of sand with tweezers and moved it one millimeter?”  

I said, “I’d probably die of dehydration.”  

He said, “I just mean right then, when you moved that single grain of sand.  What would that mean?”

I said, “I dunno, what?”  

He said, “think about it.”

I thought about it.  “I guess I would have moved a grain of sand.”  

“Which would mean?”

“Which would mean I moved a grain of sand?”  

“Which would mean you changed the Sahara.”  

“So?”

So? So the Sahara is a vast desert.  And it has existed for million of years.  And you changed it!”

“That’s true!”  I said, sitting up.  “I changed the Sahara!”

“Which means?”  he said.  

“What?  Tell me.”

“Well, I’m not talking about moving that one grain of sand one millimeter.”

“Yeah?”

“If you hadn’t done it, human history would have been one way…”

“Uh-huh?”

“but you did do it, so…?”

I stood on the bed, pointed my fingers at the fake stars, and screamed:  “I changed the course of human history!”

“That’s right.”

“I changed the universe!

 

Prompt:

Do you think that the actions of a single individual matter when trying to create change within a society? If not, do you think that for change to happen,  more than one person has to be involved?  If so, do you think that a person should even bother with trying to create change because they are only 1 in 7.4 billion?

 

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31 thoughts on “Blog Assignment #8

  1. “I just mean right then, when you moved that single grain of sand. What would that mean?” To move a single grain of sand seems insignificant. But, in reality, it completely changes the course of its history. According to the excerpt from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” the author demonstrates how the actions of an individual, either noteworthy or unexceptional, can affect the world in many ways. By actions, the world can be influenced through great deeds, gripping comments, or even simple thoughts.

    In the year of 1955, on her way home, civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to white passengers on the bus, which, in effect, not only influenced civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. to create the Civil Rights Movement but also changed the relationship between races through the end of segregation. On a different note, English philosopher John Locke believed, “All mankind…being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” In effect, this principle stood out among the Founding Fathers that it became quintessential when writing the Constitution. As a result, this document has played an important role in protecting the rights and liberties of every individual.

    Thus, to respond to Citlalli’s question, the actions of an individual do matter in the grand scheme of things. To create an impact, it will always begin with the thought of an individual and then proceed to an action. Like fire, it only takes a single match to begin it, and eventually, it progresses until it affects the environment around it. Like an author once mentioned, “It only takes one person to change your life: you.”

  2. Everyone’s existence matters in this universe and the actions of a single individual trying to make a change within a society matter as well, however it would not be as acknowledged if no one else noticed the individual’s actions. I would say it takes at least two for change to happen. You need a single individual willing to put themselves out there to be a leader and then you need that second person to be a follower and join in. To make a grand change in society, you need that the second person to make that action known. As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.”

    In Citlalli’s introduction, she writes, “There are roughly 7.4 billion people on this planet and each one lives out their lives until one day they die. So, how does the life of one individual change another’s?” Our actions may affect the lives of the people around us, but not society as a whole. Often times, an individual’s actions will not matter at all to the good of humanity, but the people who surround them may appreciate that individual’s actions greatly. The reality is, we can make small, but important differences in other’s lives. As a society we just have to believe that our efforts are momentous.

    In the excerpt from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” written by Jonathan Safran, it describes a scene where a son and his father are discussing the issue of how insignificant their existence is. They then discuss a hypothetical situation of the son moving one single grain of sand in the Sahara Desert and how that ultimately would have changed the universe. “If you hadn’t done it, human history would have been one way…” this piece from the excerpt goes to show that our little actions can contribute to change, it all just depends on how we view its relevance, even if others do not acknowledge it.

  3. While reading the excerpt of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, the small actions of a child moving a grain of sand may seem insignificant, but in reality, every action has an effect. It all depends on wither you are looking at the big or small picture in life. The actions of a single individual does matter when trying to create change in society. Most people think that in order to see change, it needs to be in a massive scale. But in reality it does not. I am going to use an example in my life to show that small actions from an individual matter and that not more than person needs to be involved in order to change society or the world. When I was at the age of twelve, I was going through some tough times and it got to the point where I felt I needed to just give up on life. I felt I had no use in the world and did not care anymore about anything. There was one day where I was at Rimgrove Park by myself crying and there was a guy by the name Johnathan who took the time out of his day to talk to me and see why I was crying. We talked and he broke me down until I confessed what was bothering me and he just said to put that aside for now and he began to introduce me to a wonderful new world that I had no idea existed. That was the electronic dance music world. He showed me different types of EDM and taught me all about being a kandi kid and what the little beaded bracelets actually meant when someone were to trade them with another. After having that one conversation with Johnathan, I found a new profound purpose in life. I wanted to help people in a way that Johnathan helped me. On answering the second part of the prompt on wither I think a person should even bother trying to create a change, my answer is yes. I’d also agree with what Benjamin stated, “The actions of an individual do matter in the grand scheme of things”. If Johnathan did not come up to me and talk to me, who knows what would have happened to me. As I stated before, every action has an effect, no matter big or small.

  4. “If you hadn’t done it, human history would have been one way..” “…” “I changed the course of human history!” The ending of the conversation between the child and his father supports my belief that the actions of an individual do matter. Moving one grain of sand might seem too small of a change to be significant, but if you think about it, it did change something (human history, which is pretty significant!).

    Sometimes I catch myself wondering what would my life be like if I didn’t go to I-Poly, if I didn’t smile at that sophomore in the hallway, if I didn’t tell that boy I liked him, if I didn’t turn in that paper, if I made different decisions than the ones I’ve already made. Every decision that I’ve made so far has shaped the person I am one way or another. And because those decisions have shaped the person I am, they’re also going to influence future decisions I’m going to make. All of our actions that we take: a blink, a breath, tripping up a stair, picking up a piece of trash, smiling at a stranger, no matter how small, are significant to the course of human history. As each decision shapes the person we become and the future decisions we make, we are shaping our own personal history. The people and situations around us are definitely shaping our history too. And our presence is shaping other people’s history as well. As this pattern continues throughout the world, we are inadvertently and collectively shaping the course of human history.

    So even if we don’t mean to shape or change the course of human history, we still are. But if an individual honestly intends to create change through a single action, should they even bother trying? I believe every action has a reaction. Therefore, I believe that a person should still try to evoke change even though they are only 1 in 7.4 billion. I agree with Jaydalynn when she says, “As a society we just have to believe that our efforts are momentous.” Every breath an individual takes, thought an individual has, and word an individual speaks makes up the heartbeat of a society and plays a part in creating human history.

  5. After having read the excerpt from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, you can’t help but feel as though you should take a step back from your day to day perspectives and truly ponder whether or not the things we do, either big or small, have an effect on this so called “Master Plan”. Of course everything that we do is significant to our own lives but the question here is if we have some sort of effect on those around us. Using the example from the excerpt of moving one grain of sand in a seemingly endless amount of sand and in return having changed the universe is a tad bit drastic. Drastic in the sense that whether that grain of sand where to be moved by the child or not, something else would have moved it and as far as we are able to tell having moved that individual spec of sand will not have any noticeable impacts in the world we live in. This isn’t to say that the things we do are not important. We more often than not we keep the mentality that the we are just the same as the grain of sand in that our own individual actions will most likely change nothing in a pool of seven point four billion other people. Not to mention our entire solar system is even smaller than a grain of sand in comparison to the universe that surrounds it. If this was the mentality of everyone absolutely nothing would get done. We cannot spend time worrying how insignificant we are because it won’t change the fact that our existence is but a snap of the fingers in the hands of time. We need to do the best we can at focusing on what we can change and not what we never will.
    We tend to place our significance in the hands of a “Master Plan” that has been set in stone. It seems no matter what we do or say nothing is of worth in front of this never changing idea that things will always play out a certain way whether we want them to or not. I believe the truth is that there is no great plan that will unfold on its own. We can be sure that we do have effects on the people close to us and on ourselves much like Jaydalynn had stated “ Our lives may affect the people around us but not society as a whole” I believe we should work with what we have and worry less about what we have no control over.

  6. In the excerpt from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” the question of “do my actions matter?” is posed and answered. Do my actions mean so much that they can potentially change the universe? To that, I say yes. I am a staunch supporter of the belief that as human beings, we are all unique characters; characters who have various talents and passions. But all of our passions and talents are interconnected, it’s not just one person who magically changes mankind, it’s that one person who stands up and in a sense creates a domino effect that affects the human species as a whole.

    Like the boy in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” our actions may at first seem small and trivial, we are just one in 7.5 billion. However, we’re one in 7.5 billion that have the opportunity to use our existence as a platform, as a medium to affect the universe in both positive and negative ways. The boy in the excerpt didn’t see moving a piece of sand in the Sahara Desert as significant, however, he came to the conclusion that he did make an impact by changing one minuscule detail. He changed the course of human history.

    I like to believe that humans are defined by their actions – that their actions are what distinguishes one person from the rest. One action that can affect someone on a personal level is kindness, such as holding open the elevator door or a small act of love, like sharing a smile. Sure my small actions are only one in 7.5 billion, but my small actions have the possibility of affecting someone in the most positive of ways.

    Our actions are what influence those around us. One example that comes to mind, that doesn’t necessarily involve sharing a small act of kindness or love, is resilience. Ruby Bridges was one of six African-American students to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana. Essentially, she and five other students began the desegregation of the Louisiana school system. Although he had to be escorted by Federal Marshals to ensure her safety, although she was looked down upon by her white peers, although she was taunted and made out to be an enemy, she was resilient. One of the U.S. Marshals who was a part of her security detail described her a “soldier.” Bridges actions of continuing her education at that all white school changed the lives of thousands. She essentially changed the course of education for the state of Louisiana by being one of the first to desegregate their public school system.

    Bridges was one in several billion, I am currently one in 7.5 billion but I am conscious that my actions have an effect on the world around me. I strongly agree with Benjamin when he says, “To create an impact, it will always begin with the thought of an individual and then proceed to an action.” My actions surely do make an impact – some of my actions will make a larger impact than others. Although my actions may seem minuscule, like moving a grain of sand in the Sahara; but that simple action has the possibility to “change the universe.”

  7. When reading the prompt I could not help but think about the TED talk video we watched last year about “How to start a movement” and how it only takes one person who joins in someone else’s cause for it to snowball into something bigger. The prompt reminded me of this video because the actions of a single individual do not matter when trying to create change in society. Like Citlalli said there roughly 7.4 billion people living on this earth and to stand out and make a difference takes multiple people. Of course, you do need someone to start the movement to try to change something within society. It takes someone with an idea to actually make changes but without any followers or people who support their cause that idea will never go anywhere. I do not believe that a person should not try because things could drastically change and the next thing they know they are leading a group of 10,000 people to try to stop others from using plastic bottles. Without the first person stepping up and put everything on the line, we as a society would not be where we are today. It is known that not everyone will be known for doing something grand for society that changes the way we live or think, but the way we impact the lives of the people around us could influence them into doing something that changes society. Jaydalynn Summarized this best by saying “The reality is, we can make small, but important differences in other’s lives.” Giving a helping hand to a stranger could somehow turn around and that stranger ends up bringing peace around the world. Obviously, that is a stretch but it’s an example of how we don’t know how our actions could change someone else’s.

  8. In this article, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” it explains how an action of one person whether it is grand or not can change the world in numerous ways. “That’s right. I changed the universe!”

    After reading the article and looking at the blog’s prompt, it reminds me of how one player back in early 2000s changed the history and the game of the NBA. There was a player named Allen Iverson and he did change the game of basketball in terms of dress code, and expressing the person you are on and off the court. When Allen came into the league, his outfits and the way he played the game was different from any other player. Allen would wear chains, baggy clothes and pants, and had tattoos from head to toe. It came to a point where critics saw Allen dressing like a thug or gangster, and the commissioner at the time did not like this idea. Because of this, it lead to a dress code and players must wear suits to the game and if not, players will be fined and/or suspended for X amount of games.

    Eventually, Allen stopped wearing suits and went back to how he dressed; he believed that what he wears and how he plays expresses the person he is. This then changed how NBA players would come on and come off the court. In today’s game, instead of players wearing suits they would wear casual clothes or high-end clothes.

    In response to Lolli’s prompt, “Do you think that the actions of a single individual matter when trying to create change within a society?” I believe that the actions of one person does matter, especially if they is doing it for themselves or for society. Going back to Allen Iverson, because he decided to wear what he wanted and play how wanted, this action lead to other players in his generation and the next to start this revolution of expressing the person you are in the league. I do disagree with Jaydalynn B. when she said, “I would say it takes at least two for change to happen. You need a single individual willing to put themselves out there to be a leader and then you need that second person to be a follower and join in. To make a grand change in society, you need that the second person to make that action known. As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” because I feel that finding a second person can be difficult to encounter and it must be easier to just express and show what you believe in, hoping other people would tag along and help “change” society. Your ideals and beliefs should just be spread out, rather than waiting for someone to hop along.

  9. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer is one of my absolute favorite books for this one single quote. It expresses humanity, in its little nutshell, for all to read in easy packages. We hear about how we can change the world by moving a grain of sand. People may scoff and just say, oh, it’s a grain of sand. But a grain of sand can affect the world just as much as anything else. A grain of sand gets moved to the prime position to be moved by wind. It gets carried by the wind, and lands in the eye of a camel. That camel twitches its head, and ends up changing the direction its going by a degree or two. If this camel was part of a convoy of traders or explorers, that single shift of a degree or two could change what cities and civilizations were discovered and when.

    All change will matter, no matter the scale of it. I fully agree with Jadalynn’s point that change needs acknowledgement to matter. But in the end, the real question is not which change matters. It is, what do we define as mattering? The local grocery store deciding to change a brand of a box of pasta may not matter much to one person, but it may be absolutely cataclysmic to an overworked mother with a child who is a horrendously picky eater. Mattering depends on perspective. And the only absolutely objective perspective on life is one from the outside, looking in.

    “Consider again that dot [Earth]. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of all those rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The earth is the only world so far known to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species can migrate. Visit, yes…settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
    -Carl Sagan

    I believe the point being made by Dr. Sagan is, in the grand scheme of the universe, all the smashing bits of rock and colliding atoms, the grand construction of life and death and time as we all know it, the grand stage on which our future shall be played out, we do not matter. We are small, we are insignificant. The only thing we could do that might change anything is blow each other up so badly that our solar system loses a planet, and a species to note the change to said system.

    But, on this pale blue dot, the one place this funny little argumentative batch of evolved monkeys calls home, everything we do matters. We have the ability to destroy and raze, to kill and decimate and utterly obliterate whomever we please.

    But we also have the ability to hold hands, and hug and kiss, to laugh and love and sing and smile, to use our power for change to make life better and easier on everyone. We may be a pale blue dot. But on this little dot, we are the masters of our destiny, and the controllers of our fate, for every little thing matters and make a change.

    As I sit typing this, the letter ‘L’ came off my keyboard. I had to reattach it, taking the time to do such and write this paragraph. It probably delayed my blog being posted by nothing more than five minutes. But a lot can be done in five minutes, proving and furthering my point that these little tiny acts of change can make a world of a difference. And I, for one, love this pale blue dot for that reason.

  10. Changing the universe is simple. Unfortunately, creating change within a society is not as simple as moving a grain of sand. The duo from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” take on the idea of the world revolving around the individual. It’s where a person tends to care about things that center around themselves. While a person can believe that they “changed the universe” through one action, others would normally not care. It is the sole individual that makes anything meaningful in this world. Unfortunately, it is difficult for one action to leave a lasting impact on others without help. Jaydalynn sums it up well by explaining that “. . . it takes at least two for change to happen. You need a single individual willing to put themselves out there to be a leader and then you need that second person to be a follower and join in.” If one person does not take the initiative to command change, then the world would continue to proceed as it was–an opportunity lost, nothing gained. While the process of change depends on its followers, the influential act of declaring change starts with an individual. To this, I say, embrace the fact of being that 1 in 7.4 billion people that can confidently shout to the stars: “I changed the course of human history!”

  11. The essence of my presence has always been into question, from a religious perspective and theoretical. Why are we born with the talents possessed? Are we predestined to commit specific occurrences in our lifetime? Do the actions of one directly impact that of another? To what extent can we accomplish? With the excerpt, a grain of sand movement can dramatically alter the course of history and its effects. But what why this passage is consequential because it was just one diminutive speck of sand out of the largest hot desert on the planet, much like how one individual can transform change anywhere with or without recognition.
    After my twelfth birthday, I asked my father, “Why am I alive and what purpose do I have?” My father kindly retorted with a religious remark, “We are born to praise, love, and worship god.” To others, this may appear peculiar based on their beliefs, but to me, it was the answer to my question. This is my judgment yet I consider that all humans have the ability to lead others based on their actions. That the actions of one do not necessarily anticipate immediate change; much like the phrase, “It takes two to tango” applied by Jaydalynn B. For a change to occur, there has to be a slippery slope where one action is followed by another, one person, then three, then fifteen. One person cannot build change on their own, rather a collective group must exist to maintain that change in a culture. No one should not feel intimidated by the bulk of the planet; that their change would have no outcome in this world. Barring what we have seen in this world from the creation of bio-weapons to jellyfish changing the ocean currents, anybody, and anything can leave a lasting impact, so why not you?

  12. In the reading “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” it talks about how a little difference can change the universe one way or the other. Isaac said “Without the first person stepping up and put everything on the line, we as a society would not be where we are today.” This is a statement that I completely agree with.
    A small change or a big change, it will somehow change society. Creating a difference in the world can be very tough. It is an accomplishment that can not be done alone, some help will be needed, but someone must step up to follow the leader. For example, Kaepernick has been kneeling down during the national anthem. Since then, Kaepernick has been taking a lot of heat for doing such a thing but now as football games come along, more players are starting to support Kaepernick. It is amazing how it took one brave person to put his football career on the line to create a difference. This is now becoming a domino effect because even players from the National Women Soccer Team are doing the same to show their support. Even the greats need some sort of help.
    It does not matter if there is 1 in 7.4 billion, it someone wants to make a difference in the world, they would find a way to get it done. It can be small or it can big. Of course it can not be done alone but somewhere down the line, more people will come along to support. When creating a difference is accomplished with the support of X amount of people, he/she will remember when it started with only themselves, because we all start somewhere.

  13. Change is a domino effect; one eye-opening or profound message can spur a crowd to do something inspiring. Be it changing the Sahara, speaking out against injustice, or giving a friend a pep talk when life feels crippling- it matters. One person can change a minuscule piece of events without even knowing it. If somebody did not reach out a helping hand towards a teetering individual, if somebody did not give courage to a crying child, or if a beloved musician did not create his/her piece of art then what would happen to the people who were impacted and uplifted by their efforts?

    The dad from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” told his son that his action of picking up a single grain of sand changed the course of human history. What if the billions of grains of sand were our single opportunity lying below us which could change the course of our universe. What if somebody killed baby Hitler, what if somebody hindered Steve Jobs and told him his future would amount to nothing, or what if each of us chose a different path? In the grand scheme of things, one little action can greatly impact each and every one of us.

    If everyone assumed their voice does not matter then change will never occur. Jose G. wrote, “ We need to do the best we can at focusing on what we can change and not what we never will.” Even though some things seem too big to change the little things which contribute to a cause will add up. No one should feel discourage to fight for something important instead they should focus on the positive and do the best they can.

  14. I found the except from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” inspiring. We forget that each action we have leads to a chain reaction of events. Think about the Back to the Future trilogy, by just changing one small action in the past, the future is completely changed. films are great examples showing the power a single person can have in impacting their society.
    In the Disney classic “Mulan,” a young women living in male dominated China enlists in the war as son, to save her father’s life. Her choice in that moment is minimal to the impact she will have on her society later. Even after Mulan’s identity has been compromised she continues to defend her country even though it is socially unacceptable. Mulan gains the respect of the Emperor and China and changes what it means to be a woman in her society. Merida another Disney princess similarly impacted her society. Her decision to not get married went against her clan’s views, but led to social change. Yes, I understand that these examples are a bit extreme and unrealistic for the common person but the point I’m trying to make is that they all started from one small action. Mulan wanted to her help her father and Merida did not want to live the life her mother did. Both princesses and I would agree with Benjamin when he says, “Like fire, it only takes a single match to begin it, and eventually, it progresses until it affects the environment around it.” These princess were able to make an impact on their society alone by the actions they made. This isn’t to say that the help of others isn’t necessary or helpful it only means that actions that we are passionate about are all the help we need to change our society, either alone or with the help of others.
    Take the movie “The Changeling” for example. Angelina Jolie plays a mother who insists the LAPD returned her the wrong child after her son went missing. Psychologist are called in to question her stability to care for a child: it is essentially her against the world. Eventually she’s forced into a psych word, but not without impacting others. A priest hears her story and supports her. She is released but has changed her society completely. Now the LAPD reputation is put under question and a child murder is revealed all because she took little actions. The impact changed the face of LAPD forever. All the social change that took place was in response to one unrepresented isolated single women in a city filled with millions who took passionate action.
    I agree with Chris “simple action as the possibility to change the universe” We are powerful and capable of social change. It is all a matter of how much we want that change and what we willing to doing.

  15. December 22, 1923, it is a cold winter night. The blistering frostbite outside Landsberg may be cold, but the bricks and steel of the prison are far colder than anything he can imagine. He is locked inside his cell, tried for trying to change the world. The cell may be small but his mind crosses the expanses of the world. In two years he’ll release one of the most well-known books of all time, in five years become a national hero and in ten one of the most powerful men in the world. His name: Adolf Hitler. Yes, the man who killed eight million people using the some of the most barbaric methods in history, was once was a single person. A single person changed the world.

    Hitler’s momentous shift in blaming the Jews for the loss in World War One was instrumental in the growing Anti-antisemitism and revitalization of the German war machine in the 1940s. Without his vindictive attacks of Hebrews in his infamous Mein Kamf, perhaps Germany would have never felt the need to grant someone unlimited power in the 1930s. Certainly without Hitler, there would have never been the wide spread of Nazism or the concept of a Third Reich. Without Hitler Germany would likely have followed the same route most other defeated countries follow after a devastating loss: replacing old kings, wallowing in debt for a few decades and general civic unrest. But never such a pervasive attack on the civil rights of an entire group of people.

    It might sound grim to compare one person changing the world – a very noble concept- to someone so base. However, by exploring how an incredibly evil person can rise to change the world, it opens the door for allowing anyone else to change the world. Because although as Jadylin says ” it takes at least two for change to happen”, it only takes one to develop a concept.

  16. In the excerpt from “Extremely Loud and Extremely Close” written by Jonathan Safran, describes an event where a son asked his father for a solution to how “relatively insignificant we are”. To give a solution to this problem, the father responds to the son by telling him that even if he moved one grain of sand in the Sahara Desert, it would still be significant because he “changed the universe”. In other words, the father says that no matter how insignificant an action may seem, it is still important in ways one may not understand.

    I am a strong believer that everyone in this world is here for a reason, and no life is insignificant, or worthless. Even the most miniscule action an individual takes (such as moving one grain of sand) contributes to the world in some way, whether one intends to or not. Doing something as simple as giving money to a homeless person, or smiling to a passerby who may be having a bad day, are just some examples of how one can contribute to the world. However, in order to create change within society, it will take more than just one individual. Jaydalynn states, “You need a single individual willing to put themselves out there to be a leader and then you need that second person to be a follower and join in”. I agree with Jaydalynn’s statement because, the actions of an individual has the ability to spark change, but in order to carry out that change into society it will take more than just one individual. Althea states, “Change is a domino effect” meaning it only takes one person to take the first step for change, then others will follow.

  17. In the excerpt from the book “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” the author describes how an action that may seem insignificant can actually change the world. At one point in my life I believed my actions and presence in this world were irrelevant. I constantly thought to myself that what I was doing did not matter because we will all die anyways and my minuscule life will not have mattered in the grand scheme of things. It was not until around sophomore year when I became a volunteer at a hospital that I began to see how small actions really do make a difference.

    As a volunteer I learned that even the smallest of tasks could change someone’s day, their mood, and even their life. It can be a smile to a stranger in the hallway, an uplifting conversation with a pediatrics patient, or the simple task of warming up a patient’s coffee. From what I experienced in the hospital, I now can see how the actions of someone can affect the world no matter how significant those actions are.

    To answer the prompt, I definitely believe that the actions of an individual matter when trying to create change. If you look at the course of history there are countless examples of people whose actions had a great affect on their lives and even ours. As Chanel mentioned, “Even if we don’t mean to shape or change the course of human history, we still are.” It is crazy to think that in some way I have changed the course of human history, and even crazier to think that everyone has at one point changed the world in some way. In all, one person’s actions in a world of 7.4 billion can make a difference, whether they mean to or not and everybody has the possibility to “change the universe”.

  18. Responding to Citlali’s prompt I do feel that all our voices matter in this world. All of our actions contain a specific consequence and those consequences snowball into coincidences into our daily lives. Every action we take, every move we make, will transform into a greater outcome. When talking about creating a movement it only takes one person to make a change that will influence others to do so as well, it’s how we’ve grown to evolve as a species. Change happens constantly as long as our physical embodiment makes a room on earth, every movement created will spark another outcome.

    In the excerpt from, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, we notice how each action is a change in the universe. If an action isn’t done then it wouldn’t of had an effect by it not being done. This is why I believe that everyone has an effect in this world, and we are all capable to make change happen. The fact that we as humans learn from other human beings allows one person to have an effect on the many. By this an individual can initiate change and encourage others to act to create a movement. One action will influence other people to want to act the same way. If one person boycotts a business, for example, then they will encourage others in mass effect. This shows how one person can have an effect on others and make a change due to their actions.

    Although, as Audissey will say in the future, “No one single human being can make a change in the world on their own. In order to make a definite change in the world that individual must get help from others around him or her”, an individual must need others to complete their change and expand their magnitude, but I believe a single person sparking the change is what allows a change in society to start. One person can make a change because without that person the whole change cannot commence. Therefore, the change an individual can make on 7.4 billion people can be massive, so somebody should attempt at change because without it no action would happen.

  19. The actions of a single individual do matter when trying to make a change in society. I believe in the power of the individual. Although, I consider that no one single human being can make a change in the world on their own. In order to make a definite change in the world that individual must get help from others around him or her. Although, an individual can initiate the change and thus cause others to add on to that course of change, it is the actions of both the individual who began the change and the ones who followed who created the change as a whole. Therefore, one single person cannot create a change in the course of human history on their own.
    Say a scientist is conducting an experiment, but can not seems to get something to function. He then goes to ask for help from his co worker. After receiving help his experiment now works and he was able to conduct an experiment that in this scenario changed the course of history. Even though that co worker who helped him only made a small change to his experiment, it was that co worker who caused the scientist to change the course of history with his advice. Even though the co worker’s advice was only a small helping, he still assisted the scientist. That scientist did not change the world on his own. It was the advice of those around him that caused him to make a change. With that said, I completely agree with what Kenny said when he stated “It is an accomplishment that can not be done alone, some help will be needed, but someone must step up to follow the leader.” No one single man or woman can change history without the help of at least one other individual.

  20. I sometimes daydream and asking myself dumb questions. What would have happened if I never went to ipoly? Should I have transfered to go play sports? What would I be like if I haven’t experienced life as I have? With a different up bringing would I have made the same decisions that I have? But then I snap out of it and realize that none of that matters. All of my experiences have shaped who I am and the decisions i’ve made good or bad, all I can do is learn from them. The decisions I made no matter how small affected many people in my life.

    In the writing “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” The question of “do my actions matter?” is asked and answered. In the writing the example the father gives is how moving a grain of sand in the Sahara makes a big change in the world. “If you hadn’t done it, human history would have been one way…” Do my actions or any other individuals actions have the potential to change the world? We are all unique people with different talents and characteristics that affect people in our lives. It takes one brave person to stand up against society’s views first to lead the way to change that others will follow.

    Making a difference doesn’t have to be a huge act of bravery or kindness. Opening a door for someone, making someone laugh or even giving someone advice that encourages or discourages their actions is a big change. All of our choices affect the people around us.

    I agree with Chanel when she says “I believe every action has a reaction” Me and every other individual is shaping history just by being alive. Individuals like Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman where like me and everyone else “1 in 7.4 Billion”. However their actions have had great reactions. Change doesn’t happen overnight but without them change might not occurred at the time it did. Every step we take, every breath we take , every choice we make shapes mankind’s history.

  21. I do think that an individual’s action can create change within a society, but it requires great leadership skills. Even like Hitler, the things he did were not great, but he did create change and he was able to convince others to join him through his great speaking and leadership skills. I think that Jaydalynn said it best, ‘You need a single individual willing to put themselves out there to be a leader and then you need that second person to be a follower and join in. To make a grand change in society, you need that the second person to make that action known. As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.”’ So a person is able to create change, but with the help of others that change can become something greater. It’s the same as working in a project groups, you could do all the work alone create and create something great, but if your whole group would get involved the project would be able to evolve into something better than the original plan.

  22. As Kenneth stated,”For a change to occur, there has to be a slippery slope where one action is followed by another, one person, then three, then fifteen.” Every individual’s action matter in the grand scheme of things, it only takes a person to spark an idea, or to make a life altering decision. It just takes a leader and a follower to create a lasting impact on others. Small causes can have big effects, this is known as the Butterfly Effect. Individuals who think themselves as insignificant or useless don’t realize that their actions contribute to something bigger. Either it be tutoring kids or starting a revolution, everything people do causes change, but change doesn’t happen with one person, it takes someone who is willing to make a difference and a follower that is inspired help make that difference.

  23. Society’s views and predispositions on everything are constantly changing. No, it might not be a finite or relatively quick process, but it is evident that change is brought about in a society over time. Take, for example, the process through which society has learned to become more accepting of the LGBT community. Prior to the years of the 1960s and 70s, it was not uncommon for homosexual individuals to feel uncomfortable with the idea of exposing their true identity to the world; this was due to their internal anxiety of the ridicule they would receive, being well aware of the moral standings heterosexual individuals imposed on society.

    So what happened over the course of about fifty years in a society to change these social taboos? People came together. They shared their ideas, advocated for their constitutional rights, and change was brought about in the United States. On June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court deemed state-level bans on same sex marriage unconstitutional was enacted. Since then, the LGBT community has had an enormous increase in acceptance and tolerance around the country. Not to say that every single person agreed with the Supreme Court ruling, but there has been a recent notable increase in support for the ruling.

    Going back to the idea of people coming together to bring about change, it is important to note that most of the times, it is a group effort. As it is often said, two minds are better than one; this is especially true when you put the minds of millions of people together to achieve a common goal. With this, I think a coalition of people is necessary for change to be brought about in a society; however, there is no such thing of an instance when groups of people spontaneously come together for a common goal. There has to a person to be the spark that starts the fire. This is where I believe the actions of a single individual do matter in creating change within a society.

    As Chris put it in his blog response, “Our actions are what influence those around us.” Yes, an individual is only 1 in 7.4 billion; but that individual has the power to bring about change by spreading the word to the rest of the 7.4 billion people on the planet. There are so many views and predispositions wrongfully held by today’s society, and it is impossible for a single individual to tackle them all. However, when an individual acts as the catalyst for change on one topic, such as the LGBT community, what that individual is essentially doing is moving a grain of sand in the Sahara Dessert.

  24. In the same way that not all grains of sand will be put into an hourglass, not all people will do great things. It is possible to change society, and to influence reality, but the people who do it all have one thing in common. A will. It is not possible to change one’s surroundings before changing oneself. As Maryela brought up, “Even like Hitler, the things he did were not great, but he did create change and he was able to convince others to join him” The most influential people know this. However, what they do not truly realize, is that everything is changing, all the time. The world exists in a state of permanent impermanence, no one is immune to change. Even the people considered to be the most well-known historical figures are not immortal. In thousands, or even just hundreds of years they will cease to exist in the world’s consciousness. Humanity as it is currently known may disappear. While only a few grains of sand from the desert will be put into an hourglass, the entire desert is filled with the sands of time. To answer the question as to whether or not the actions of an individual will create change becomes silly, because change will happen regardless of anyone’s actions. It is a far more useless pursuit to hold on to life, and to prevent change. I leave by suggesting that instead of trying to change others, look inward and allow yourself to change. You will find that if you work for it or against it, change will come regardless.

  25. I believe that for a change to occur, we need to have a start. A start is when someone or something takes a step and try to change how things are. So an individual can change something with just the actions they make. People should actually try to change the world with their individual action. If other people see that that person is trying to change something and they agree with it, then more people are going to join and it will have more support.

    It might start small and be insignificant at first, but as time goes by and withstand all the difficulty then something will change. Or it might not, but we have to give it time. Just like Jaydalyn said, “Often times, an individual’s actions will not matter at all to the good of humanity, but the people who surround them may appreciate that individual’s actions greatly. The reality is, we can make small, but important differences in other’s lives.” This is want it is like when someone is wantung to change something or to make a difference.

    People might ot get the results on what they want to change in an instant, but it can change. For example, I tutor children from kindergarden to third grade. It is just not me teaching them how to do their homework, but also bonding with them. It might not change the society as a whole, but I can change the lives of those children I teach and how they perceive the world. And this correlates with what Jaydalyn said.

    So going back to the prompt, an individual can cause a change in society, but it might take a long time. But they can change it. If they really wanted to, they will put all of their efforts to change it.

  26. The excerpt Citalalli shared from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly close” describes a conversation between a son and a father about how important an individual is in society. The father gives his son an example on how what one person does, can have a great impact on everyone else.

    I strongly agree with what Jaydalynn, “Everyone’s existence matter in this universe and the actions of a single individual trying to make a change within society matter as well.” I agree with what Jaydalynn wrote because if people were to think that their contribution does not matter, no one would try and make a change. Change does not come easily, but it does require someone to set an example. If there is no example set, people will not know what to follow and change will not happen.

    If so, do you think that a person should even bother with trying to create change because they are only 1 in 7.4 billion? To answer Citlalli’s question, I do think that a person should try to create a change, because if everyone has that mentality that what they do will not make a change, then nothing will ever get done and everything will stay the same.

  27. Every person can make an impact if they put in enough effort to create a ripple in our society. Though there are 7.4 billion people in this world all of us are made of the same flesh and blood, with the right approach all of us can be moved and our empathy can be easily targeted. I agree with Jaydalynn when she says, “Everyone’s existence matter in this universe” Our existence was brought into conception for a reason, I am not extremely religious but I know someone or something is behind the scenes pulling strings. Until we make contact with this someone or something all we know is that our decisions are literally the only thing that make a difference in the world. It is up to us to conquer the universe or not to. If our historical figures decided to sit and die our world would not be as prosperous as it is this present day.

    Compared to 2000 years ago our world and our society has improved incredibly. Our lifespans have grown exponentially, our food supplies are in abundance, our technology is literally out of this world. The list of incredible changes made by collective individuals are amazing to ponder. Though you are only one individual you are the only you, I could be a figment of your imagination but you would never know. You are only capable of experiencing your perspective, it is kind of a trip to think how our only tool to try and view things as another person is empathy. The universe revolves around you, and it is up to you to make everyone acknowledge that, the other option is to sit in your corner quietly as the rest moves on without you.

  28. I do believe that real change takes more than one person. The idea can start with one person but that person has to spread the idea to others to be able to change the society. One can argue that you can change society all by yourself, like in the excerpt from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, but I feel that any change done that way is so insignificant that it can’t even be considered. I feel that a change in society is changing how it thinks and what is accepted and what is not. In order to make significant changes in society it takes years, sometimes decades and a lot of dedicated people. For example that civil rights movement. Every civil rights leader throughout the years has gotten society as a whole, one step closer their ultimate goal. But they would not have been able to do any of that if it wasn’t for other people that believed in them. Other leaders will rise up and lead society into change but they will also need regular people to support them. It is the only way to bring significant change to society.
    I agree with Jesse when he says that if everyone is busy trying to change society then nothing will actually change. I agree with this because people need to buy into the idea which you are trying to change society with. If everyone has their own idea why would they buy into yours? That is why I think to make significant change in society it takes more than one person.

  29. Shaping society and the people around us is inevitable because we interact with something or someone in everything we do. So maybe somebody would not have changed the world, but someone could change someone’s whole world. Everything a person does shapes people and other situations in everyday life if they want to or not so if somebody went out into the world with the intention to change it for the better then their actions definitely do matter because change doesn’t have to be huge for it to make a difference as long as it matters to them.I agreed with Chanel when she said, “Every decision that I’ve made so far has shaped the person I am one way or another. And because those decisions have shaped the person I am, they’re also going to influence future decisions I’m going to make.” This is very true because just being here on the planet changes someone or something and if I wanted to change the world, but not even one person decided to join me then I wouldn’t have failed because I would have changed myself.

  30. The excerpt from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” narrates a dialogue between a father and son. Together they conclude that no matter how small the change, if they can make a difference. They believe in the power of the individual. While in the dreamers mind it could be true, in my opinion, the individual’s power is nothing but a hoax.
    From a young age, we are all told to try our best and aim for the stars. We are told that we can succeed if we try hard enough. Sadly, that is nothing but empty promises. The individual is weak. Humans cannot succeed without the help of others.
    A movement can be conceived by one person, but in order for it to succeed other people are necessary. In order to change a society, the people collectively must agree on a vision to fight for and put forth. If there are no others then it is pointless. That is why in order to change a society, there needs to be more than one person involved.
        To think that one single person can change the world is borderline egotistical. It takes a group of people to create a movement. Anyone can have an idea, but for it to make an impact others need to agree or follow the idea. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington would not have been nearly as impactful if there was only ten others accompanying him. As amazing of a leader MLK was, if he did not have any like minded peers, he would not be in our textbooks. Like Brian said, “people need to buy into the idea which you are trying to change society with”. If people do not agree with an idea, nothing will change.
        Although one person does not make a big difference, it is still important for people to try and make changes. Whether they are a leader or a follower, they are helping in the process of change. The leader makes the difference by guiding others in their movement, and the followers make sure that their leader’s movement is heard and followed. While both are important roles, they cannot exist without the other. What is a leader if they have no one to guide and what purpose does a follower have if they have no one to lead them? A movement can only be done successfully in groups, but the individual does contribute. The individual themself cannot carry a movement, but they do help further it.
    The power of the individual is not much. One person alone cannot create great changes. But, if multiple individuals come together to form a group, then they can make an impact. There truly is power in numbers, and the small power that individuals contribute can add up collectively.

  31. This blog assignment is an interesting one and I myself have thought about this idea very much. Such as, “If I didn’t exist would the world have changed?” But after a lot of reassurance from my friends, I guess I changed their lives and as a chain they changed their friend’s that they met because of the person I helped them become. Which technically is changing the world, you’re changing their world. But one person may not do anything with their life and another person may help a large amount of people’s world change. For example, Martin Luther King changed the world with his peaceful protests against the inequality in his country. He in return changed the world for many other people. Basically it depends on who you look at and how they live their lives. I agree with Brian when he says that it only takes one person to change the world, but that person is most likely not going to be a lazy low-life.

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