[Campus Commentary] One in a billionListen to these names: Adolph Hitler, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and Joseph Stalin.
What similarities do those people share?
Of course, all of them are terribly famous. Moreover, they are people who have influenced the history of the world, for better or worse. Throughout history, out of the multitudes of people who have lived and died, only a small number are still remembered.
There are more than 6 billion people living on Earth and you are only one of them. Simply thinking about that proportion, one person in the world is very insignificant.
However, the important point we should remember is that the people who have done memorable work to benefit humanity were also just single individuals. That means one individual can do a remarkable job that helps the entire world.
If the world seems too broad, let’s narrow it down to the scope of Korea, alone.
As all Koreans know, the presidential election has just passed.
Lots of people wavered seriously about whom to vote for. That is because the president of the country definitely affects everyone’s lives. Considering the fact that each presidential candidate asserted different policies, the selection of the next president was an event that will significantly change the future of Korea.
If the government of the country still seems way too far removed from your life, let’s narrow the scope once again to your life and your relationships between family members and friends.
There are a lot of people who are influencing other people’s lives, even adding innovations.
What about doctors who treat sick people?
What about the teachers who show students the right path to follow?
Then what about the priests and nuns who always make an effort to make people’s lives more peaceful?
As these questions show, these are people who influence others a great deal.
They are, however, not the ones who become world-famous celebrities, but are just ordinary people around us.
Your advice and your actions may have a great impact on your friends, your family members and also others who are not directly related to you.
You may influence your friend’s life by giving some advice from the bottom of your heart, or change your little brother’s life by setting a good example yourself.
Your volunteer work might provide the only happiness in the lives of old people who live alone, or your donation could make somebody’s life more fruitful in economic, psychological and material ways.
Although you may seem insignificant in this big world, there are people who need you. Indeed, to them, your one word, and your little acts will be more meaningful and helpful than that of any other celebrity.
So stand right up, be confident in yourself and try to do your best, whatever you do. You may seem ordinary; however, you are able to make the changes in your own small society, and that change can spread around the country and the whole world.
As a slogan urges us, “Be the change”
*The writer is a sophomore studying political science at Yonsei University and a former editor of the Social Affairs Division of The Yonsei Annals.
by Chung Chee-hae