Explanatory Essay: Responding to A Quote Let’s try to analyze a popular quote together… “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Ghandi) Part One: Define and Explain the Quote in Your OWN Words Quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Mahatma Ghandi) First think?: Use the 5Ws & 1H Method to Ponder that question: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Who: Why: When: Where: What: How: What is this quote trying to say or teach me about life? Should be the change? Should we make these changes? Can we be “the change”? Can we see these changes? Types of changes should we exhibit? Should we accomplish this? Example Introduction: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a person willing to help make a change, or do you see someone who may be a hindrance to the resolution of a problem? What I have found from previous experiences is that you have to step up to the plate and make the first move. We can not wait for others to lead the way; we need to be the change that we see as Mahatma Ghandi so wisely states in this quote. Whether it be as small as helping someone when they drop their books in the hallway or as wide-reaching as spreading messages of peace across the world, these changes are things that we can do to improve our society. Part Two: Connect to the Quote Quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Next you need to Connect the Quote to: Yourself (Personal Experience) Literature/Media (Books or Film) And/or The World (Historical or Current Event / Famous Biography) Use at least TWO IN-DEPTH examples that explain situations in which your quote has been applied. Think about personal experiences, current events, historical events, books or movies you have seen, events you have observed others going through, etc. Each example will become a body paragraph. Example 1: Personal Experience I used to think that I was powerless and could have no impact on society. Of course, that was before I joined my youth group. The youth group that I joined was a very charitable group that really focuses on caring for the needy. One week into the commitment, I found myself on a community service trip, which—I admit—I was not too thrilled about. We were going to clean out a huge garage filled with clothing donations. After loading everything into several trucks, we drove to an old, run down building far out of town which I did not recognize. As we entered, I found myself awestruck to see nearly a hundred people crammed into a tiny room filled with clothing. Their ages ranged from infants to elders, most in clothes that had become ragged or had grown too small for them long ago. As they noticed our boxfilled arms, they began running up to us shouting out, “thanks” and shaking our hands. I could not believe the enthusiasm of the people just at the sight of the clothing, something we take for granted every single day. That experience really changed my perspective on how one person can easily make a significant difference in someone else’s life. That day I truly was “being the change” in someone else’s life. Example 2: Connection to a Book This quote also reminds me of when my Language Arts class read a book called Freak the Mighty. The book had a very unlikely hero, a crippled boy named Kevin. Though Kevin was terminally ill, he affected many changes during the course of the story. He sets out on quests, like the brave Medieval knights that he admires, to help others—especially his new best friend, Max. Kevin’s “can do” attitude is contagious. In the beginning of the story, Max refers to himself as a “butthead” because he has a learning disability. Max feels that the he does not have a brain until Freak (Kevin) comes along. Kevin opens new doors for Max, showing him that words are like voices on paper and that life is an adventure. With Kevin in his life, Max begins to venture out of the basement he lives in and see the possibilities that a full life offers. As this story demonstrates, a deed as simple as being a good friend to someone in need can change a life forever. Kevin instills confidence in Max that lasts even after Kevin’s death (sorry for the spoiler!). Afterward, Max goes on to write an inspiring book which in turn inspires other people. All in all, Kevin’s kindness truly created a positive ripple effect. Example 3: Famous Biography Connection Lastly, although many people may know the actress Natalie Portman from her role as Queen Amidala in the Star Wars movies or from her photos in magazines, many do not know the type of person that she really is. Over the years, I have grown to admire Natalie Portman for being the type of person who inspires change simply because she conducts herself as a role model should. Shortly after Natalie’s parents immigrated to the United States from Israel, she was discovered in a pizza place, where someone approached her parents about having her model. Being a very smart and bright young girl, she quickly grew bored with modeling. She got her start in acting when she was offered the role of Anne Frank on Broadway. From this point, she made a commitment to choose roles that portray a positive image for young girls. In spite of her fame and success, Natalie also graduated from Harvard with honors. She is a self-proclaimed “nerd” and has never been afraid that this stereotype would affect her popularity or how people perceive her. Her dedication to education was evident in the sacrifices she made, such as missing the premier for the Phantom Menace in order to study for her high school final exams. How many of us have such a strong sense of priorities? Natalie Portman wants young girls to grow up to be educated and strong. She has taken the first step toward making these changes simply by “walking the walk.” In an environment of fame and fortune, she has continually made positive and grounded choices. She places intelligence above materials—a very admirable quality. Part Three: Conclusion Quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Lastly think: What if we ignore the quote? & What if we choose to live by it? Example Conclusion: In life, we have many choices to make. We can either choose to stand by and wait for others to determine the course that our lives will take—or we can choose to make our own choices, determine our own futures, and change the world to be the place we want it to be. We can get involved in community service and spread messages of hope or we can be a friend to others and show them all that they can accomplish. We can even set an example by living our lives in a way that others admire. So the choice is yours, make it a noble one!