Writing to Create Change
“…change is the only constant in life….”
~ attributed to Heraclitus (c. 500BCE)
Here in this part of North America (in Maryland we are in the mid-Atlantic region), we enjoy four seasons, so the trees and the landscape are always changing around us. Similarly, everything around us – including ourselves – undergoes change constantly as the Earth rotates and revolves.
Activity A ~ Proverbs about Change
Do you know any sayings or about change? Search your memory for sayings in your own language and in English. Brainstorm ideas with your partner, then write your proverbs on the board in the original language and explain them to the class.
U.S. President John F. Kennedy said this about change, and the danger of staying too much in the past:
“And our liberty, too, is endangered if we pause for the passing moment, if we rest on our achievements, if we resist the pace of progress. For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”
~ “Address in the Assembly Hall at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt (266),” June 25, 1963, Public Papers of the Presidents: John F. Kennedy, 1963.
Good writing is a powerful tool to effect change. In our class, we will write about ways to create change to improve our communities. What are your big (or small) ideas about change?
Activity B ~ Change in Your Community
Discuss these questions with a partner:
1. What communities do you belong to?
2. What could be better about your communities? What changes would you suggest?
3. Brainstorm a list of challenges or problems that you see in your community and the world. Think of things that you would like to see changed. For now, don’t worry about how you would create the change; just brainstorm ideas. No idea is too big or too small to add to your list.
If you get stuck, open these documents for inspiration:
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (opens in new tab)
United Nations Sustainable Development Topics (opens in new tab)
In our class, we will write to create change. Throughout the semester, we will talk about your ideas to make the world a better place. Keep a list of your ideas so that you are ready to write an essay later in the semester.
type of tree that drops its leaves every year
short popular sayings, usually of unknown and ancient origin, that express effectively some commonplace truth or useful thought
(adapted from Dictionary.com)