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Young or Old we can all make a Difference

Election, lobbying, court, grassroots mobilization, and cultural change pathways are what make America a democracy. All five pathways allow citizens, of any age, to participate in America’s political system. While learning each pathway, the cultural change pathway seemed to stay with me. Cultural change pathway is when a person tries to change citizen’s mind about a certain topic. This approach is an indirect way in influencing the government.

gty_malala_yousufzai_jef_121010_wgWhen we were learning about the five pathways, I wanted to find an example that exemplified the cultural change pathway. On October 9, 2012, I didn’t expect to find my example, but I did. I also found a hero that day. A fifteen-year-old activist named Malala Yousufzai changed my life. Malala was an activist who lived in Swat Valley, Pakistan. She fought the Taliban for the right for girls to earn an education. Malala had a blog where she described the hardships of not going to school. She wanted to be something in life and she needed an education do it. Through out the world, people started to read her blog. Her blog caught the attention of so many girls. Most importantly, she caught the attention of the people in her hometown. Once people started listening to what Malala had to say about girls and education, many families in Swat Valley decided that it was worth it to fight the Taliban in order to give their girls a better life. Ton of girls started to protest for the right to go to school and that’s when the Taliban decided they had enough. The Taliban went to Malala’s school and shot her in front of her friends.This young girl changed the view of education for girls throughout the world. Her goal was to just change the minds of the citizens in her hometown, yet she it went much farther than that. This story is an amazing example of the cultural change pathway. Before Malala started to voice out her opinions, the people of Swat Valley were just content to let the Taliban control everything. Now the people are ready to fight for education. Cultural change is when a person changes people’s opinions to try to indirectly influence the government. Malala succeeded in the political pathway.

These pathways give citizens a voice in politics. The citizens of the United States should be lucky that these pathways are given to them. In other countries, people don’t have a voice. Learning about these pathways made me want to make a difference in the political world. I never thought, as a young person, that we could make a difference. I mean, what can a teenager do in the political system? Malala really changed my opinion about these pathways. If a fifteen year old can change the lives of many, who’s to say young people can’t change lives?

All of the pathways are important, but I believe that the cultural change pathway is the best pathway. Instead of going straight to the government, this pathway allows individuals to convince other people to listen to their side. This pathway is a great way to get the governments attention. If a person were able to change the opinions of a lot of people, then maybe the government would take notice. So, I learned that we have to take advantage of these pathways. Even though we are young, these pathways allow are voices to be heard.

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