By Sarah Freeman
We have the power!
In high school I made pretty good grades. That is, except in my science classes. For some reason, having to understand how our world works, overwhelmed my very simplistic way of thinking. However, I did manage to take away one very important idea: the concept of a catalyst.
For those of you who are like me and are “science challenged” let me remind you what a catalyst is: a substance that increases the rate of chemical reaction. Figuratively, something or someone can be a catalyst to precipitate an event. For example, a speech could act as catalyst for a debate.
One thing that the younger generation, my generation, needs to recognize is the fact that we are a catalyst. Our generation has the power to create a change in the world. We can also spawn future generations to make a difference. Young adults need to realize that our voice can and will be heard. We are the highest targeted group for advertisers and thus set the pace for what is to be a trend.
Take for example the mega conglomerate Procter and Gamble. Recently, this company pledged that all of their work sites are child and forced labor free. To prove this, the company has auditors that make surprise visits.
Additionally, the company has UNICEF and the World Health Organization as stakeholders. It is not just in labor practices that P&G are setting the precedence. They company also pledges to be socially responsible through such initiatives as their Children’s Safe Drinking water program that will deliver another 2 billion liters of clean water over the next 5 years to places that have no access to it. The company estimates that this will prevent 80 million days of disease and save 10,000 lives.
What would happen if our generation sent Proctor and Gamble a “thank-you” note to let them know that we appreciate them taking care of our world? What if our generation only bought items P&G made like Crest toothpaste and Pringles chips? What if we let their competitors know that we are supporting this company due to their social responsibility? What if the competitors had to change their practices out of loosing so much business from our generation?
In a world where there is a lot of talk and very little action, remember that you are a catalyst. Remember the power of letter writing. Remember the power that our generation holds. Remember the responsibility that we have. If high school science taught me one thing, it taught me how I, teamed up with people like you, can spark change that can last a lifetime.
Sarah is co-founder of Anberlin’s non-profit Faceless International. Faceless International aims to defend the plight of exploited people worldwide who have gone faceless and unknown for far too long. They provide first hand experience and education through trips around the world and solution-based opportunities through regional resources. You can find them here.