Hello everyone! Nicole here. If you read my Editor’s Letter every month, you would notice that I was absent for March. Missing March made me really sad. Margins has been going through major changes behind the scenes, and I myself have been going through major changes! But I’m back with a great theme for April, and we can’t wait to hear from you!

The theme “The Greater Good” is inspired by a motivational speech a teacher gave at a writing summer intensive I attended a few summers ago. It impacted me immensely. Nearly four years later, I still draw from it sometimes when I’m feeling down, or need to become motivated. The basic premise of the speech my teacher gave was a little existential (people who know me know that existentialism is hopelessly confusing to me), but it made a lot of sense.

Here are some examples I came up with to explain it to you:

-Even if the Earth was in flames, something in the universe would still be beautiful and intact. (I know, pretty existential)

-Even if you are having a terrible day, there will always be something nice about the day, however fleeting and temporary that thing may be, like a pretty stranger.

-You can become a great person if you don’t believe you are one already. All the untapped potential is inside of you. That untapped potential–that is your greater good.

This concept is great to build around self-reflection and to build up, but it can also serve as a lens to look at our society.

For example, sometimes I am walking home and I see people sleeping on the sidewalk or in tents. I always feel like I need to do something at that very moment, but I’m just one kid! I can’t possibly provide for someone a warm home and steady life. More than that, homelessness is a bigger, more chronic issue than me.

I can’t dismantle the systems that my country, America, has in place. We don’t have enough resources for homeless people, lack of affordable housing, wages that don’t represent the costs of living, domestic abuse, and a plethora of other things.

I just identified some of the issues that cause homelessness. “The Greater Good” part of this would be analyzing systems and breaking them down into better ones to improve my community.

Whether you choose to reflect on yourself, look at the issues in your community and see what you can change, or something completely different, I leave you with these famous words from Kat Blaque:

You are beautiful. And you are loved.

Have a great April!