I want to change the world. It is not a dream or vision but a reality that I am able to change the world for the better. I figured this out while visiting New York, New York. For my 16th birthday present, my parents took me and my best friend sightseeing for the weekend.
The night before we left to go home, we visited Ray’s Pizza, which had been personally recommended to me. This was, in fact, one of the primary reasons I wanted to visit, for the fabled New York style pizza.
We had gotten three whole pizzas all topped with unique toppings for the four of us to split, and I was carrying the box with the few slices leftover. I was admittedly walking slower than normal because of the large amount of hot cheesy pizza, and so maybe that was what caused me to notice the homeless man half-asleep on the edge of the sidewalk.
Most people in New York City are so busy they don’t notice, or pretend not to notice, the large amount of unfortunate people without homes. I was planning on eating the pizza I held in my hands for breakfast the next morning.
I was not compelled by guilt nor did I feel any responsibility for his condition, instead I acted on what was an obvious wrong that I could make right. He was hungry. I had food. Our conversation lasted no more than thirty seconds; the look of surprise and gratitude in his eyes stays with me to this day. On that day, I discovered just how easy it is to change a life.
The price of the pizza was not the important part; however, the gesture of giving what I did not need was where I found the breakthrough. Because of my interaction in New York, I have found new discoveries that I want to dive into. I want to know why it is right for me to get an iPhone 6 for Christmas, while other people my age do not have a dinner on Christmas. I want to know why it is acceptable for me to have luxuries yet some do not have necessities.
I am not tackling world hunger or extreme poverty by giving away some pizza, but I do believe I can personally change the world for the better. I want to learn how I can drastically improve the lives of those who I interact with. It now seems like common sense when I tell people that I want to help people. Who doesn’t?
That is something that is best discovered on your own. Today, I give back by participating in Virginia Tech Relay For Life – which has raised over $5 million for cancer research and patient services. Join me today to make a difference in the lives of millions.