It is remarkable that the use of fewer words speaks loudly. The most inspirational advice I had ever been given was five words that were not intended as a compliment. They were, "You can't change the world".
Instead of being offended, I was motivated. Do you know how many influential people throughout history were given the same "advice"? I bet Abraham Lincoln was advised against granting freedom to the slaves during the Civil War because he could not change the ways of the world. I bet Susan B. Anthony was criticized by men of the twentieth century because a woman could not possibly change the ways of male-dominated America. I bet Martin Luther King Jr. was told that he could not change the world of the Jim Crow South during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s.
Often times, society attempts to obstruct change. Children are taught to learn and do as their parents learned and did. Sometimes, when we ask questions that insinuate any element of change, our ideas are dismissed, and we are obliged to follow. We view elements of our society as "the way things are", and we are forbidden from offering insight into the ways in which these elements can improve.
If we think according to those means, change is impossible. If we hear the words, "You can't change the world", and respond, "Yeah, you're right" and walk away, then the cycle of change ceases to exist. Society is interdependent on this change, it flourishes in the midst of progress. Human society is nothing without a difference of opinions, perspectives, and worldviews; society craves a change of pace, a move in a different direction.
Does this mean that all of us will become Susan B. Anthonys and Martin Luther King Jr.'s? Of course not. Our goals should not center around fame or prestige. My motivation for 'changing the world' is not to end up in the future generations of history textbooks, or most likely iBooks. Not everyone can elevate themselves to the historical status of a legacy like Dr. King's, and not everyone should.
When people think of change, they picture a giant phenomenon that produces major consequences for the future. In actuality, change is a ripple effect. Look at any body of water, and poke the water with your finger. A small circle around your finger suddenly becomes twenty more circles that resulted from your one finger. If change is the ocean, all it takes is one movement to trigger a reaction. Change may be considered big, but all it takes is one interaction, one conversation, or one idea that can produce a multitude of wavelength reactions.
So if someone dares to tell you, "You won't change the world", do not get upset. Take it as a motivator. Look towards proving people wrong. Engage in conversation with those around you. Be passionate. And make a ripple effect of the change you want to see in the world. It is possible if you take it one step at a time.