Change yourself, then change others

During the visit in Tibet, we organized a workshop in Lhasa Middle School. During the workshop, students there transformed wasted materials like unused plastic bottles and clothes to some useful products.

At the beginning, I was worrying whether the students could really finish the task because this was a really difficult job for me as well. However, it seemed that my anxiety was excess as students there successfully made some interesting products, including a pencil case, a doll and a toiletry container (shown in photo above, from left to right).

When they shared their ideas about making the products, I was extremely surprised by their strong environmental awareness. They knew the importance of protecting the environment and they would pay their own effort to reduce waste and pollution at home. One of the students even said that he would not throw away the banana skin after eating bananas as he would use it to help wash oily dishes after meals. Hearing these, I felt ashamed as many non-green scenes of me caught my mind immediately, always order takeaway, use disposable utensils, seldom recycle materials, etc. Furthermore, my purpose of organizing the workshop was to promote environmentally friendly lifestyle to students there, but it turned out that it was students there taught me a lesson.

Yet, one sentence from a student touched my heart deeply, ’I know that I may not be able to change other’s minds, but I will do it from myself and affect my peers’. I was inspired by this greatly. Although the ability of one person is limited, one can affect others and then so on and so on. We may not be able to change others’ minds, but we have the ability to change ourselves first, and this is the first and the most important step. If we do not act first and become role models, it will be hard to affect others.

Protecting the environment is a huge job and it needs everyone’s help. Therefore, if I want to promote environmentally friendly lifestyle to others, I have to adopt it first. Hence, during the remaining of the trip, I reduced food waste and used fewer disposable utensils. Back to Hong Kong, I acted greener lifestyles by bring own water bottles and ordered less takeaway. I hope that my tiny power can contribute to protect the precious nature, and I believe that changing my habits would finally affect my friends and families, and this is the most effective way.

Change yourself, then change others. I think this idea is the same and very useful when we really want to affect other people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *