What do we need more of in this world?

What do we need more of in the world?

This question was asked in front of my entire first year Chem class by a career advisor. He was, I’m sure, expecting simple answers such as we need more engineers, more doctors, we need more scientists.

As a chemistry career advisor he was probably hoping for the answer “We need more chemists.” He asked us to discuss this question with the person beside us. I said it was too big of a question to answer right then and there, but it has been on my mind ever since. 

It’s not exactly an easy question to answer, and everyone will have very different opinions. My opinions are certainly strong ones, but I will share them in the hopes that they will open your mind to begin answering this question on your own.

We need more education and awareness about current events and our history. I am realizing, after taking an Indigenous studies course, how ignorant I am about my own history and the intertwined histories of Canada and Indigenous peoples. Awareness of our own own ignorance is something we often lack but is important to be mindful of.

It is important to approach everyday issues with an open mind. Often I find myself working backwards, unlearning what I was taught in high school in order to relearn the truth. The more I look into problems our society is currently facing, the more unlearning I have to do in order to see the whole picture. It is easy to be misled by activist groups (on both sides of issues), by the government and by social media. 

We need more of a certain mindset. A mindset able to learn and question, to unlearn and relearn. Able to recognize bias in the news, in the media and even in our school curriculums. A mindset open to growth, to change and to progress.

We need people willing and able to start up conversations. Conversations such as this one, that make some people uncomfortable but, that make us really think about what our own values are and how we can live by those values each and every day. 

We need more people who will not only live by their values but who will act on them. 

I recently attended a presentation by Cindy Blackstock. She talked about the two types of people in the world,

Those who want to do something and those who want to be someone.” 

We need more of the first category, those people who want to do something.

Be a change-maker today. Start a conversation about something important. Do something with what you are learning and what you are experiencing. Challenge what you have been taught, learn, unlearn and re-learn. I believe this is what we need more of in the world.

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