Finding Agency to Create Ripples of Social Change in the Cancer World

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Edmund E. Smith


Ripples. We have all experienced this seemingly minute wonder at some point in our lives. They are a series of waves in a body of water caused by a single force, disturbing the water’s quiet stillness. Given the strength of the force, this ripple effect can be as minimal as dropping a small pebble in the water. A noticeable disturbance is witnessed, catalyzing a repetition of small waves, but after only a brief moment, the water returns to its original stagnant state. However, if we were to introduce a tremendous force, such as a boulder into a pond, a succession of higher order cataclysmic ripples would exist that would eventually erupt into waves crashing on nearby land. When I envision this effect, I imagine it being analogous to
finding the agency to create a degree of social change. The cancer world has been perpetuated with fear and anguish, more lives tarnished than almost anything man could ever produce. Its prominence proliferates daily, and simultaneously, growing research and cancer walks are conducted. It has become the talk echoed around the world, but maybe that is exactly what society needs. A conversation. Society needs a proper conversation that will ignite the flame of the great social change. Coming to this deceptively simple understanding took time as I and other students journeyed through the Cancer Biology class and saw the beauty of through the power of service learning. 

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Smith, E. E. . (2015). Finding Agency to Create Ripples of Social Change in the Cancer World. Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning & Community-Based Research, 4, 1–5.
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