Changing Hands

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When my father announced his support Donald Trump a few weeks ago, I was shocked. I couldn’t fathom why my father- a hardworking, Chinese immigrant- would support someone like Donald Trump.

His reasoning was filled with resigned amusement. He leaned back in his chair, laughed a little, and said, “it’d be interesting to have Trump as our president. We need change.”

Change. The most vicious enemy of change is resigned amusement, cynicism, or even apathy. And recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of that cool, uncaring pragmatism in people who feel like someone dreams too big, or that grabbing a bullhorn and protesting is an act of civil unrest, not civic duty. The thing is; change doesn’t have to happen with the election of a billionaire, or a new law.

Change begins with our hands.

I used to participate in a program with my local church called “Sandwiches on Sunday.” Each member was called to bring food and hold a potluck for those in need. Everything was cooked by hand, everything was spooned into those plates by hand. When we were called to pray with fellow congregants, we would lay our hands on each other’s backs, and we would pray.


At my school, our Gender and Sexuality Awareness club is run with a set of thirty hands. Every week, we congregate to pool our hearts and hands to press issues that attack youth in the LGBTQ+ community. Marginalized youth often feel they have no active voice. GSA strives to amplify these voices. With our hands, we draw up those posters, we tape them on to the wall, and for those who need the support- we offer to hold their hands.

That’s where change begins. With our hands.

Carry yourself out the door on your two legs, and begin meaningful conversation. Mire your hands in productive interactions, and dirty them through positive field work.

You don’t need a fancy degree or a good credit score, or a hefty financial loan to affect change.

All you need is some heart, some drive, and a pair of determined, working hands.

With a Perspective, I’m Anders Zhou.

Anders Zhou will be a senior at Aragon High School in San Mateo this fall, where he enjoys reading, writing, and cross-country running.