If you could wish for one thing in the world, what would it be?
On August 19, people all across the globe observed UN’s World Humanitarian Day, a day created as a means to commemorate those who lost their lives in humanitarian service, or celebrate those who continue to pursue this work. This year, the UN organization strove to sponsor ‘words’ to evoke change through a worldwide movement. They asked the simple question, “What does the world need more of?”, and for every one-word answer shared via a tag through such popular social media sites as Facebook or Twitter, the UN unlocked funds for various aid organizations around the world to solve the pressing world issue pertaining to the word. Examples of such words or phrases include #strength, #genderequality, #empowerment, #voice, among others.
With that in mind, what does ISM think the world needs more of? A survey was conducted across all schools in hopes to achieve an answer.
As shown in the graphs above, the most popular response to the survey was “#love” – across all grade levels. This leads to the obvious question: why is there such a lack of love in our society? What does that say about the way in which individuals in our society interact nowadays, about what kind of relationships we keep? Perhaps love is a non-negotiable aspect of our lives of which we cannot get enough.
Interestingly, both the high school and middle school students focused not only on the materialistic, tangible items that could aid our world, but also on the characteristics of people. For instance, motivation, generosity, and strength were words met with popularity; strangely enough, they are all words relating to the qualities of global leaders. Maybe this means that, in the end, what our world truly needs is more people who have the #strength to fight for what they believe in, who have the #motivation to see it through, and who have the #generosity to share it with the rest of the world.
Having said that, perhaps this could all be summed up more simply by the elementary school students, who, with their creative and innocent minds, generated ideas such as #magic and #heroes. In truth, we can all be heroes by doing everything in our power to make the world a better place. Moreover, magic does not have to be an occurrence with no explanation; it can be defined simply as something that makes someone happy. And, of course, if 4 of 20 elementary school children surveyed believe that our world needs more magic, we must make some of our own.
Read more about World Humanitarian Day at: http://worldhumanitarianday.org/
Written by: Erin O’ Reilly
Photographs by: Jenny Hwang