What I first thought to say in one of the sentences above was "...through hard work and collaboration I could change the world" (omitting the "being a part of changing the world" portion). For good or for bad I am in the process of accepting my need for personal achievement (and recognition). I know that one can't change the world by her or himself, but different people are motivated by different things.
I think that the only reason I even consider the implications of my personal ambitions (even privately or publicly in this instance) is because of who I am as a Black woman raised in a working class neighborhood, attending a Missionary Baptist Church. Ultimately what I think it boils down to is power.
Do I deserve power?
What does it mean for a poor person, a Black person, a woman, a Christian to have power?
Can you change the world without power?
Is there such a thing as collective power, and how is it exercised?
I honestly feel like I've wasted so much time at my current job, disempowering myself because I'm not perfect. How in the world does one grow up in America, work in the field of education, (at a Charter school no less), after having attended a university that consistently maintains a Black enrollment rate of around 5% feel bad about not being perfect. This country and these systems or institutions move forward regardless. They extol their greatness, barely acknowledge their shortcomings, and keep moving forward as if they are the greatest thing since indoor plumbing.
I've decided to live less afraid, to be reflective of my shortcomings, but not paralyzed by them.