Signature Strengths Journey – Veronica Hester (Year 11)

Global Citizens – Veronica Hester (Year 11)

For a while, I was frustrated and rootless. Everything was pointing to climate change becoming a big issue in my future. The data says it’s going to affect aspects of everything: temperatures, how extreme weather events are, food supply, water supply. Some people in the world would lose their only source of fresh water. But I wasn’t doing anything. I was letting this all pass me by. It felt wrong.

Last year, just before the big student protests over climate change, I wrote an opinion piece about my frustrations. I wrote what needed to be done – I wrote that this issue needed to be treated seriously. I asked us not leave climate change to swallow up our generation.

With that and the 748 comments, I realised what I’d done. I’d had an impact. I had begun to live the way I wanted to. Before I’d cared about other people, and I respected them. But when I started to act, and do the best by them, my respect became real.

To help out with an issue, you don’t have to do a lot. Spreading the load makes it easier for everybody; tables aren’t so heavy when there’s 5 people to lift.

You can fundraise – you can do programs like Do It In A Dress.
You can volunteer; from locally to overseas in poorer countries.
You can come up with ideas for your local community – for example, my pal Kal, who got Caringbah High 100% powered by solar panels.
I’d say one of the most powerful things is just existing, and influencing the people around you. Because they will see it.
And of course, going to rallies (especially climate change rallies!): every extra group of people adds up to something much bigger.

By acting, and embracing a common humanity, you’re making your respect mean so much more – and the best thing is everyone can do it.

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