You must do something to make the world more beautiful

Miss. Rumphius is a book for children (but really for everybody) that my mom, the best librarian ever, used to read to me when I was little. The story is about a girl who is told that she must do three things over the course of her life. First, she must travel to faraway places. Second, she must settle and live by the sea. Third, and most important says the book, young Miss. Rumphius must do something to make the world more beautiful.

I won’t tell you about Miss. Rumphius’s adventures. You will have to read the book for yourself. However, what I want you to know now is that you can make any kind of difference anywhere in the world, with whatever you have. I have proof of this, too.

In Montevdieo there lives a man who is now retired. With his working years behind him, he started to find that he was very restless and even a little bored. He walked the streets of the old city day after day and started to notice that the stone tiled streets of the city were in poor repair. In fact, many of the stone tiles were missing altogether, or coming up from the pavement in a way that was dangerous. It made the old city look run down and even a little ugly.

One day, on one of his walks, the man had a brilliant idea. You see, he was an artist, and skilled at making mosaic tiles. Mosaic is when you make a bigger picture out of a bunch of smaller pieces. The very next Sunday the man went to Feria de Tristán Narvaja in Montevideo and bought a bunch of mismatched plates and cups and saucers. Then he went home, placed the dishes in a big pillowcase, and smashed them to bits. He mixed a bit of cement with water, and waited for the sun to go down.

At about two o’clock that morning, the man set out for the streets of the old city. He found a square of tiles that were missing, and he placed a beautiful tile mosaic in its place. He did it in the middle of the night so that by the time the city was filled with workers and tourists the next morning, the mosaic would be set and ready to be walked on. He continues to do this regularly even to this day.

If you go to Montevideo today you can see these small bits of art all over the old city. They are unexpected and lovely, and the artist is certainly doing his part to make the world more beautiful.

Learning about this artist made me consider my contribution to the neighborhoods where I live and work. If that man’s materials for change are broken up plates and an artist’s heart and mind, surely I can find a way to contribute to my community in a profound way, and so can you. Remember that your contribution does not have to be something that people can see. In fact, some of the most brave and honest examples of beauty are hardly noticeable unless you are really close to them. For example, think about a teacher who helps you with a problem that isn’t about school. Think about when you make yourself uncomfortable to help somebody on the street. Think about a friend who needs a lot of your time or energy. That kind of helping is revolutionary, too, and there are examples of it everywhere.

Enjoy these pictures of the artist’s work, and complete assignment number six: What are some things that you can do to make the world more beautiful?






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49 responses to “You must do something to make the world more beautiful

  1. Joanna Hernandez

    While reading about this artistic man I thought back to this summer and how I help an old man who was lost find his way back home. When i thought back to what i did with the man i thought that’s making the world more beautiful right there helping every body what needs help so it can be more flexible and easy for everybody to live in .So to make the world more beautiful to live in i am going do my part to help anybody who needs help as best as I can .

  2. Elena_Collado

    i agree with joana! making the world more beautiful doesnt just mean making it look preetier or cleaner, it is also helping those in need of help and taking actions that would benetfit our society!

  3. Channel Santiago

    I agree with both Elena and Joanna. To make the world more beautiful for me is to help others out and to be able to be independent about who you are as a person. This will make the world a nicer place because once you find yourself your whole expressions change . This is an example that Martin Luther King wanted he wanted every color race together and to be able to get along.
    -Channel Santiago

  4. Paola

    To make the world more beautiful , I believe that stopping the violence and helping each other to become better people is one way . The world is full of negative and positive thing and some way it would be beautiful for it to all be positive . For it to be more beautiful , violence should stop and instead of having hate towards one another , love should be used more .

  5. Gabriela J. Jimenez

    I agree with what Paola said about using love more than hate in the world. Also, I think that to add beauty to the world, more innocence and expression should be shown. I think that if a person is able to express themselves freely in the world, different types of beautiful pieces of art would be shown throughout our community. In addition, to increase the amount of beauty in the world, people should be more supporting and show love and care towards people that are finally making their dream come true. With the support of people around you, you would feel loved and your state of mind would be healthier.

  6. Sucre Mamolejo

    I can add more plants here and there around the community I live in. Since so many plants and trees are being cut already it would be helpful and useful to add more plants, flowers, trees, etc. It makes the world more beautiful and we can help the world to add more oxygen and make Earth a greener place.

    • Alex Mayi

      Ya! not being content with the plants the government plants and adding more to freshen our community not allowing dull colors to ruin our colorful imagination i would regret to ever see the day where black and white rule and appreciation of the beauty of a rainbow is no more. (DOUBLE RAINBOWS ARE THE BEST) =)

  7. Xavier Rosario

    You can make the world beautiful by collecting trash on the streets and placing them inside garbage cans, you can donate to charity to help out people in a certain category, you can plant more to produce freshly grown products, you can also recycle things and not waste too much water , etc.

  8. I can make the world more beautiful by being a better sister, a better daughter, a better friend, neighbor. What you give out you receive back. Like this man making tiles, he has now inspired all of us to try and make the world more beautiful.
    – Rachele Cordero

  9. Anthony Vargas

    In order to make the world more beautiful, we can all help to stop the violence and hate in this world. We can help clean up the streets in our community to help keep them clean and help improve our environment. Also, we can help improve our parks by planting trees and cleaning up the parks.

  10. byrongarcia2297

    I think that Anthony is right and agree with him completely. I think that if most of the violence and other horrible things stopped world we can be a little step closer to a much more peaceful place. Also, the other thing is that everyday in New York the streets are always dirty with so much disgusting things that i ask myself…how can earth still stay “alive” and still spinning? The Earth is this strong to keep on going.
    ~Byron J. Garcia

  11. Jessica

    I think in order to make the world beautiful we need to stop the violence and start loving instead and like that the word will be more peaceful. We need to create more places that children could play around and another way to make the world beautiful is to recycle so the world will be nice and clean.Also to love more and hate less, have peace instead of violence.

  12. Erika Cabrera

    To make this world a little more beautiful I can definitely keep on helping out more people that need help with anything, I am told to be a very good advice-giver, might as well use it more often. People should also get in the habit of helping each other out because it will only get you much more further in life, being hypocritical and not helping anyone, but yourself is not right. Sometimes you need to learn to look out for others you care about if you want the same treatment in return.

  13. Kathy Tavarez

    I think there’s a lot of different ways to make our community more beautiful. There’s so many simple things that can be done such as throwing your garbage away in the trash can instead of the streets and recycling. As I walk down the streets in the night time I always see huge rats and I find that disgusting, if our community was cleaner there wouldn’t be that issue. Additionally, another way our community would be more beautiful is if it were more peaceful. There’s always fights and things going which is so unnecessary because there’s bigger issues in the world that cops should be taking care of but instead they’re arresting people for stupid decisions they make. There’s many things that even us as teenagers can be doing in order to make our community a better place.

  14. Dhilexa Martinez

    I think that, i can make the world more beautiful by volunteering, in rescue shelters for animals because i think animal cruelty is very serious, and its something that needs to be put to end. Also to lend a helping hand to anybody that needs it, it might inspire them to do the same. As well as urge, my family to be more cautious about the environment so they could do something to make the world more beautiful also like recycling.

  15. jayson014

    The way how someon could make the world more beautiful is having peace with everybody yes it is important that the world naturally should be nice but how having peace with everybody will be so beautiful because we will end the violence that is going on like the wars that has affected this planet and also how we should all not hate or judge others because as i remember thats how you don’t get peace as personal things that i had if the worls continues as how it is going the world will never ever have peace

  16. Yesenia Negron

    To make the world more beautiful a lot can happen in big or small ways. People can take the negatives and make them into positives. Graffiti on the street wall can become a peice of art work with a little help from any community artist. The violence between everyone should be stopped and teenagers going in the wrong path should turn their life around to go through something better than what teenagers in our community are going through. Making the world more beautiful can also mean making everyone safe.

  17. Madeline Cruz

    There are many ways to make the world more beautiful. For example one of the ways to make the world more beautiful is by picking up after your self meaning no littering, no smoking to not pollute the air we breath and make the world come together as one to have less violence. Also helping each other out helps a lot to make other release whats right from wrong.

  18. ” To Make the world more beautiful “. That sounds like a great goal, a goal that will never be reached. People only talk and talk about making the world a better place but they never try to actually take a step forward and do it. To be able to make the world more beautiful there should be no judgment and no false accusations.Those things are what kill a person. Yeah sure i may have judged someone but don’t we all? First we have to work on our self’s and that’s whats going to bring us closer to making the world a little more beautiful.

    • Lhia Hernandez

      As most of us have said, love, kindness, cleaning, peace, ect would make our world better and beautiful, and I totally agree. But I also agree with what Sally said. “People only talk and talk about making the world a better place but they never try to actually take a step forward and do it” Even though it might sound harsh, its the truth. To make the world more beautiful people have to acctually carry out what they said they would do. I agree with everything everyone said and now all we have to do is do it.
      -Lhia Hernandez

  19. andersongerman

    Some of the things that to make world beautiful is by making the place cleaner because it shows that the country that they really care about the world. It shows some things that are special about the place and it can show something that few people know and it might show something that you don’t know. There some of dirt shows a piece of art inside of it that makes them have more special that people were talking about and how the world is or how the country. Also the cleaner place the more people will start people going to that special place to see that what is talking about.

  20. Rachelle

    Looking at the pictures, it made me feel as though each and every person is their own tile. We are different in our own ways. In other words we can make the world more beautiful. We are young and we still have time to think what we want to change or if we want to change anything. As we grow up we chnage a lot of things. We see a lot of advertisements and instead following it, we keep going straight. As we succeed in school we are making a change. Those who succeed in college makes a change. I believe that once we are more focused on our work, we continue to work until, and we are determined to finish. The kids who are growing up can learn to make the world a beautiful place.

  21. Bethany Vasquez

    Ready this article is very expiring. Making the world beatiful is by caring about others and whats around you. I can connect this to when their was a dead dog on the side walk around where i live. That dead dog was there for 4 day and it look like it was hit my a car and someone moved it to the sidewalk because it was in the way of cars driving by. After seeing that dead dog made me sick and i wasnt the only one. I knew that there was

  22. Bethany Vasquez

    Ready this article is very expiring. Making the world beautiful is by caring about others and whats around you. I can connect this to when there was a dead dog on the side walk around where i live. That dead dog was there for 4 day and it look like it was hit by a car and someone moved it to the sidewalk because it was in the way of cars driving by. After seeing that dead dog made me sick and i wasnt the only one. I knew that there was people who was disgusted seeing that while walking and driving pass it. It was sad to me because i have a dog and to see that made me sick so what i did was i called 311 and requested a dead and removal from the street because it was heartbreaking to people and myself to see something so sad and terrifying in the street that made people not want to pass by that. Thats how i helped and made the world beautiful.

  23. scarlet frias

    To make the world more beautiful, i would it make the world more cleaner, change the violence, and to make the world more beautiful i would give help and advice to young people who doesn’t care about their education, because that’s the most important thing in their life.

  24. Fernando Alvarado

    To make the world more beautiful we don’t just have to clean it up we also have to help the people around us. A way we could do this is by helping the poor like the people that stand in the corner without any food. We could give them a little bit of money so they can buy something to eat. There are many people who are selfish and don’t like giving money to the poor. Those people are making the world more dirty then clean.

  25. Katy Rodriguez

    I find that what this man did was actually pretty thoughtfull and a bit amazing. I honestly think that the only way that I can personally make this place where I more beautiful is by changing my actions. For example if I help someone in my community it can brighten their day and change there point of view on teens. And that will be beautiful not in appearance but in the actions that we take as a community .

  26. Arlin Guillen

    One way we can make this world more beautiful is by keeping it clean. This is because people like to litter a lot and as you walk through the streets you would see a bunch of garbage on the ground. Another way to make this world more beautiful is by planting more plants all around. Peoples actions could also make the world more beautiful by not fighting in the streets, shouting out negative comments to one another, and helping out the people around them.

  27. natalyandkirby

    To make the world beautiful is that you can stop littering on the floor the trash cans were invented for a reason.Another is that if there wasn’t a lot of violence meaning everyone nice to everybody.Another is that there shouldn’t be homeless people out on the streets everybody should have there own house.

    • I agree with what your saying because that way we can make sure that our future generation can follow up and start cleaning the streets decreasing the rate of trash ending up in the sea.

  28. Ariel Ng

    To make the world beautiful is to help out in any cases of trouble around your community or even when your traveling to different places. Make people around you notice that your making a difference and they will follow in your footsteps. The little things people can do can make a big difference around the world.

  29. Alfha Gonzalez

    To make the world more beautiful its not only telling people not to litter or to clean their house, it means to be a better person, to stop fighting with each other. I think that the world would look even more beautiful if they stop killing people if the goverment gave the people what they need if the people would stop caring about the race of other people. I think that the world would look prettier if the the families around the world were more united. I think that a person can make the world beautiful by caring about themselves and other people.

  30. Amanda Duran

    To make the world a beautiful place there must be a reduction of the violence and the way people are treated. For example, same sex marriage shouldn’t be seen a forbiden situation, love is love and no conditions. The world is a much more beautiful place if we just didnt take the little things in life for granted.

  31. Victor Liz

    Some things that i can do to make the world beautiful are to tell people to try to conserve graffiti out in the street that have a strong meaning to a community, stop the gang violence because they harm innocent people. Also tell people to recycle plastic because of global warming.

  32. Stephanie Lozano

    People do many things every day and make things beautiful without even noticing it. A way i want to make this world beautiful is by helping everyone in it anyway that I can and by trying to fill in the holes that exist in every corner of every street. Just thinking about making this world beautiful makes it beautiful.

  33. Edelin Contreras

    Some things I can do to make the world more beautiful is by using love as a strong weapon to help stop the hate between one another, and make this a better place for us and are upcoming generation. One example of this can be donating the things we don’t use to charities and local churches in our community, Sometimes, we complain about the things we don’t have instead of taking the time to be grateful of how lucky and blessed we are, for having all the stuff we already have but are too busy wanting/ admiring useless things. And yes you should spread love not hate, and help the less fortunate.

  34. xiara guzman

    Some things i could do to make my world beautiful is keeping it clean and healthy. Ways i could do that is plant some colorful flowers some trees to be able and have more fresh air. Also not only that but also the people we have to make sure they are safe and they are following rules so it wouldn’t be so crazy and out of control. Finally one last thing i would do is help out others and make sure they have a place to be and have no one living on the streets

  35. Alexis j.

    Something I can do to help the world is writing. I have wanted to write books and other types of stuff for a long time. I think by writing I can help people in their problems they may have or enjoy and have a good time by storytelling. Writing is a form of expression and can help people in everyday struggle. I believe I can solve or make there rest of their day go smother either by poems or books. I think by writing and selling and even giving away books I can help people have a better day.

  36. Jasmine

    -To make the world a more beautiful place I think that I can just be myself. If I be myself and do good I think people will really appreciate that. I think that i can contribute to things like gardening or volunteer for jobs at clinics. If I opinionated towards an issue that is a rising concern to my neighborhood and try to look out for everyone, I think that will create change and it will definitely make the world a beautiful and amazing place.


  37. Roberto Nunez

    What I can do to make the world beautiful is helping other people in need. Also trying make the world in balance like being nice and kind to one and another. Also changes for better will also make the world a beautiful place.

  38. Ronald Alvarado

    To make the world more beautiful I can try my hardest to be a positive role model in our community because I believe once I change the perspectives of individuals then the community will follow, then society and so on. The domino effect will fall into place until we reach the world I would not stop because one person can make a difference.

  39. Aneurys Gonzalez

    Something i would like to do to make the world more beautiful is i would not let an wars happen and for the whole wide world have the same rights and money wasn’t a problem for any one in the world.Also that everything was divide equal in the world so that their wouldn’t be people richer than others.

  40. Somethings i would do to make the world beautiful is bring soldiers back to their families and help other that need help. Also fix issues that the government has and also helping other in the community and other countries.

  41. Raymond Carvajal

    to make this world more beautiful than what it is to make sure we have a clean environment make sure all our floors are well put together ect…

  42. christopher

    some things I could do to make this world beatuiful are stop violence and try and make peace among others. That will make the streets seem better when people walk with smiles and pride, not fear. The little changes make big difference.

  43. Brian Concepcion

    We can make the world more beautiful by contributing to recycling. We can clean up the streets of our neighborhood. We can try to add more nature to our city’s streets. Encourage and enjoy the arts. Bring your community together and encourage them to meet people from their neighborhood.

  44. I think making the world beautiful can’t happen because it is. ( scenic wise )
    But now we are destroying that beauty. We are destroying Beautiful forests and savannas. The ocean,rivers, are getting polluted by garbage. Stretching for hundreds of miles, and possibly the size of Texas, the giant migrating mass also known as the Pacific Trash Vortex can be seen in patches floating along the Pacific Ocean. That is crazy, you called that beauty? Then to make space for more trash they burn it? All that trash is being burn releases all that harmful chemicals in the air. We are destroying that beauty and now it is time to stop. It would be far easier if people would reduce what they generate, recycle whatever they can, and place the remainder in places that don’t end up in the ocean. It is a ultimately a matter of personal responsibility.

  45. Diana Pujols

    Something i can do to make the world most beautiful is “Be kind and smile as much as possible. Believe in yourself with all of your heart, and then pass it on.” -Holly Cumpston
    This will keep me going.

  46. Arlene

    You can make the world more beautiful by keeping it clean. For example, you shouldn’t liter, and when you see a person doing so, cleaning it up or tell them to stop because that’s not right. You can also smile and not be grumpy all the time. Also, you can try your best in school and graduate college. If you do so, then Washington Heights can have a higher rate, and will represent better to other places.

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