Youth Blog Series: Big Picture

Be the Change’s Youth Blog Series highlights blogs written by university student interns at Be the Change Earth Alliance. In the blogs, the interns reflect on their experience completing “Action Packs,” which are learning resources that guide students in research, critical thinking and tangible action related to a global sustainability topic.

Action Pack Summary

Connecting one’s inner self with the outer world is crucial for a meaningful life. Doing so can ignite passion, foster perseverance, and lead to a happier and more fulfilled individual, community and society. Yet, traditional education curricula can often skirt around the “inner self”, that when employed, encourages an individual to think beyond their material needs and view themselves as part of an interconnected human and natural community (part of a bigger picture).       

The Big Picture Action Pack, part of BTCEA’s Connection module, guides students on an exploration of their deeper self, compassion, self-actualization, meaningful work and their role in the creation of a happier, more sustainable future. Drawing on a myriad of sources, including psychologists and neuroscientists, this Action Pack encourages learners to explore how individuals obtain happiness or fulfillment, what steps they can personally take towards this goal, and how doing so would lead to impact at various levels: the personal, environmental, social and economical. The Action Pack also teaches students about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a theory in physcology about the different levels of human needs, ranging from having enough to eat to feeling a sense of belonging.

This Action Pack encourages students to acknowledge that they are part of a global community, and how their personal process of self-actualization can contribute to the self-actualization of others. By connecting with the deeper self of a learner, this Action Pack is designed to foster transformational change and deep-rooted engagement. 

My Reflections

After completing this Action Pack, I signed the Charter for Compassion, which is a document that urges people of the world to embrace core values of compassion. I also wrote down five ways I would like to fulfill my needs. I really liked this process. It would be hard for me to just sit and do this because I would think it would take a lot of time and effort. When it is embedded within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs however, it was easy to understand what to do. The article in the library of links really helped. I am glad that this was part of the Action Pack, it encouraged me to understand what I look for when finding meaning in life. It helped me align my goals with my core values.