We have seen numerous stories of young people leading all around the world. In the 1960s, African American school students led the charge to desegregate people on buses and public transport; in more recent times a young Swede, Greta Thunberg took action around climate change and found herself addressing global business leaders at the World Economic Forum; 15 year old Jack Andraka in 2012 invented a new sensor for cancer that was cheaper and faster than existing methods after a family friend died of pancreatic cancer; Ann Makosinski created a hollow flashlight that converted body heat into light when she found a friend in the Philippines had no light in the evening to study; and Malala Yousafzai became an international voice for female education and is the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize through her advocacy via a BBC blog. Here at Pacific, we regularly see young people respond compassionately to people’s needs and instigate community action. A recent demonstration of this is the Ponytail Project, led by two of our senior students.
Small actions sometimes lead to global or community change. Actions of compassion in our daily lives, which may be unseen, are equally important. By walking alongside the lonely, listening, quietly helping to lighten a load or shining a light of possibility, people of all ages can make a world of difference. Life lived in tune to the needs of others generates deep purpose and capacity. We can make the world that much better, one person at a time. God calls us to live in community with compassionate hearts.