Story By: Mardra Sikora

Changing the World:
“The world is the same today as it has always been. There are good people and evil people. There always has been and there always will be.”
What do you think?


I both believe this to be true and also can’t help but hope for a better world all the same. There are those who have accused me of trying to save the world. “You can’t save everybody.” I’ve been told. When, truly, I have never come close to saving anyone. 
I try to change minds. In however much that is possible. I try to educate and encourage empathy. I make attempts to console, to encourage, to promote goodwill. Is that enough to change the world? I don’t know. The words of Mother Teresa guide me when I wander down this thought path, “We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.” 
The subtitle to my essay “Arguing Eugenics” is “A case for changing the world.” Because to me, this essay is not about changing the present, it’s about changing the path of our world’s future. After the last few years of writing consistently about Marcus, and Down syndrome, and the world
views in collision with mine, I am just beginning to articulate why this is even important. 

Here is a bit about change from “Arguing Eugenics:” 
On a micro level, there’s this: have you ever been changed by a person? I have witnessed Marcus literally changing the people around him for the better. His honesty begets honesty. His laughter and innocence beget wonder. I have seen strong, closed men hug him in earnest. I have witnessed strangers get down on  one knee to tie his shoes. People go out of their way to be better because Marcus brings this to the table.

When Marcus said “Brother!” to a focused man on a busy New York City street, because the man wore a similar hat to his: the man smiled. More than smiled really, lit from inside, as he pulled his suitcase through a crowd of faces where no one saw him, but Marcus did.” You can read more here from and about that essay.


There are many other C words that came to mind that accompany this idea of change.

The first one is: challenge. It is our challenge to speak-up. I believe, I really do believe, that if advocates continue to speak up, even if we don’t agree on the details, our combined voices bring attention to injustices. It is our job to challenge each other, to challenge the past and to challenge the future. 
Compassion…we must have compassion in order to expect it. Compassion is not a weakness, it  pushes us to make change. Compassion is not to be turned from or scorned, compassion allows others to both feel pain when we feel pain and find hope in  our potential. 

I’m not sure compassion can be taught, but for those that hold its capabilities, we must allow others to feel it. To express it. To share it. 


We will not change the world until we learn to listen. 
So what do you think? Is the world the same as it ever was? Do you, like your grandfather before you, curse these “Kids today?” Is there a way to change the  world? Where will the differences be made?