Time is our most valuable resource, and how we choose to spend it has the most influence on our lives of any choice we make. Do you think you could do more with the 24 hours you're given each day? I could go on and on about getting up earlier, exercising more, reading books and learning something new every day, but I won't. I'll save you the headache of echoing the thousands of self-help articles you can find circulating on Facebook feeds everywhere.
Instead, I want to talk about how you spend just one day out of the 365 you're allotted each year. What if you spent one day, even a very small part of one day, doing something that would impact the rest of someone else's life? You could crack open any cheesy self-help book and have a long list of things you can do to bring positive changes to your own life, but have you ever wondered about the positive changes you can bring to the lives of others? Have you ever wondered if there's a way for you, just one person in seven billion, to change the world?
It's easier than you think. You don't have to solve the energy crisis, end world hunger, or put a stop to all the violence in this world. You just have to believe that someone else's life can be better because you were here. Even if you only change the world for one person, you still changed the world.
So, if you had 24 hours to change someone else's life forever, what would you do? It seems like a daunting proposition, I know, but it doesn't have to be. When I say "change the world" I don't mean that you have to be the guide that points someone down the path to greatness or utter failure. You don't need to be the one shining light that saves someone from descending into darkness.
What I'm getting at is that the action itself doesn't have to be spectacular, you just have to be willing to take action. The power to change the world is not limited to the special among us, but it will always be out of reach for those who don't reach for it. So many of our peers are doing comparatively small things that make a real impact in the world.
If you're a mentor to someone younger than you, perhaps as a member of College Mentors for Kids, then you have the power to change their world by serving as their role model and confidant. Maybe you're involved with Best Buddies here at Purdue and play an amazing role in helping someone feel like they can live a normal, happy life.
Internet culture makes jokes like "not all heroes wear capes" when the Chipotle cashier catches you filling your water cup with lemonade and lets it slide. But there's no joke to be made here. I'm serious when I say that taking the time to make the world a better place makes you a hero, plain and simple. You are a hero in the eyes of those you affect and also in your own because you can live with the knowledge that things are just a little bit better on this planet because you made a choice.
For Purdue University Dance Marathon, Wednesday, October 21, 2015 was a day that we demonstrated the power that regular people like you and I have to change the world. October 21 was PUDM's "Day of Miracles," during which we set out to raise as much money as we could for the children and families at Riley Hospital for Children in a single day. After a very long, but incredibly inspiring 24 hours, we raised $100,630.03 for the kids. That number was only possible because everyone involved believed that one person can make a difference.
Do you believe that you can make a difference yet?