Awareness Isn’t Enough

Hannah Phang
3 min readFeb 27, 2016


We all know there are a plethora of issues in the world. So much of our efforts to improve these situations are about increasing awareness. “If only more people knew about this…” is something I hear often from those passionate about inequality, pollution, animal rights, etc. Of course, awareness is a key first step, you can’t take action about something you know nothing about. But if you see something, will you say something?

It seems as though being part of a generation who is all about purpose, it can often be overwhelming the amount of things we are supposed to care about. We are so well connected, that we are able to hear about every issue across the globe. There will always be more problems, but does hearing about these problems create a spark in our bodies that forces us as if we have no control over it to stand up and do something about it, or are we left not knowing what we can do about it or not wanting to actually inconvenience ourselves to do something?

This purpose generation is full of talk but how much are we actually walking? As a whole population of change makers, we need to start creating change. Spreading knowledge is much different than getting people to hear that information and want to do something about it. We can all intend to be better, do better, do more, be more for the sake of others and for the planet, but if our actions do not align with our intentions, what good are our good intentions?

How many of us want to help the environment but actually throw our food scraps in the trash, drink our coffees from single use cups, buy far more things than we need only to throw those out for the newer better version a few months later? How many of us believe in safe working conditions for everyone but have no idea who is actually sewing our clothes and are they happy? It’s hard to feel the positive impact of making small every day decisions that are better for the planet, but if a million people make better decisions, that would make a dent.

As change makers however, we can also do more. Not only are we a generation who is dedicated to finding jobs that have purpose, but we can also do our own digging. If you see a problem in the world that really grinds your gears, go into a rabbit hole of research. Don’t only look at the problem, but the larger system it exists in. It may be a symptom of a large problem and it’s always best to fight a fire from where it’s getting it’s fuel and cut off the source.

I’m not saying it isn’t helpful to post articles about an issue on your twitter or change your facebook profile to have a filter of a country in needs flag, but let’s be honest, you can do a lot more. As individuals, it is easy to feel that your actions don’t have enough impact to cause a ripple, but don’t underestimate yourself. You are a force and you should use that power for good.