I will change the world!

The conversation during class last week got really interesting. Who knew something as simple as a t-shirt would cause one to the best conversations we’ve had all semester!

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The main topic was Jane McGonigal but it somehow shifted to the UMSI t-shirt that says “I will change the world” and the issues with saying it because it’s cliché and were preaching to the choir because everyone want to change the world. Some even felt like it was saying that we are privileged and declaring that we know what’s best, we know what issues others are facing and how to fix it.

There’s nothing wrong with realizing the fact that we are privileged to be at UMSI. I’m privileged because others have sacrificed to allow me the flourish. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t work hard to get here, its acknowledging that there are other factors than our own input that have resulted in us being at Uof M. And I will take my privilege, passion and knowledge gained to inspire people, produce content and implement ideas and developments that will have an effect on the world..even if it not ending poverty and hunger. It’s a mindset that you are not going to be selfish. But ethical and giving. That were not here solely for  personal gain but rather to build our community and pass along what we know. To me saying that I will change the world is understanding that I’m a small part of a larger community and always keeping in my contribution must be meaningful and positive to others and not just something to make my resume stand out.

I don’t at all think it’s some 1st world superiority declaration that we are the only ones who can implement changes. It’s a challenge the I welcome and pose to others. I wear the shirt proudly because I know my purpose is to leave the world a better place. And I want others to think about how they will change the world.  What the point of spending all this money and being stressed out if you aren’t going to do something meaningful even if its only going to make a difference to a small group of people? It’s not about making millions…although I would love to be wealthy one day… That’s not a priority for me. I love librarianship because it allows me to help others.. Whether it’s with a research question, in a maker space, or finding the bathroom. I love it. I help others find the information they need to do something that they find important.

Til next time….shhhh

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5 comments

  1. “There’s nothing wrong with realizing the fact that we are privileged to be at UMSI.”

    A simple sentence with a very strong message.

    Would the sentence’s meaning change if we replaced UMSI with ALA Accredited degree? Graduate School? Ann Arbor, MI?

    Privilege is a measure of comparison. We are privileged to go to UMSI, those who are not are less so. We are privileged to be able in a graduate school, which means that we were also privileged enough to attend and receive a college degree. While privilege creates a have and have nots dichotomy, or in the least division, it is important to realize that many privileges, but importantly not all, are the result of a lot of hard work.

    Does the fact that we acknowledge our privilege mean that we should flout it to those who do not have the same opportunities?

  2. I’m so glad you wrote about your tshirt perspective! I just wrote my post and was musing about how comments got a little one-sided on this subject (I was one of the people who expressed a tshirt criticism). Your thoughts about the tshirt as a reminder to take part in a broader movement to make society a better place, and as a reflection of your ethical center and goals, are inspiring. I think you are right and it is important for UMSIans to identify ourselves as professionals who care about individuals and communities, not just corporations.

    1. Thanks so much! I completely understand how some people can feel the way they do about the shirt and I didn’t want to discredit those thoughts. Its just that I don’t feel the same. Honestly I found that entire conversation really interesting and I’m glad that everyone chimed in a bit about their thoughts.

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