How many times have you listened to the news and felt sorrow at the inhumanity in the world?
How many times have you longed for more love, peace, and tolerance, not only on a global scale but within your own town and neighborhood too?
Many of us long for these things because, let’s face it, we do live in a time when such things as love and peace are fleeting and sometimes hard to find. We are judged for the way we look, the color of our skin, our culture, and our sexuality. We look harshly at others for being different. We argue, fight, and wound others. And on a national and international level, wars are caused, and people are hurt because such judgements are intensified.
What can you do about the problem? On one level, you might assume the answer to be “not very much.” You aren’t Wonder Woman after all; you are but one person out of many, with no superpowers or authority to bring about change. On the other hand, as social activist and attempted bringer of peace, Mahatma Gandhi suggested, you should…
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
While you might not be able to create a massive impact on a global level, you can still change your attitudes and feelings towards yourself and others. If you can give yourself that mindset of love and peace, you might then be able to offer the love and compassion that you have always wanted to see happening around you. If your thoughts change, with all of the actions that correspond with your way of thinking, the world might change around you, one person at a time.
In short, you can make a difference. You can be the change that you want to see in the world, no matter who you are. Just think of the people before you. While some people have been able to use their celebrity status to make a difference; Flaviana Mantana being just one world changer, others, using Rosa Parks as an example, made a difference to the world by having no credentials at all. She refused to give up her seat on the bus and thus paved the way for the civil rights movement. So, what about you? Famous or not famous, what can you do to make a difference and bring about change?
The ways you can make a difference
Notice and smile at others. On a very simple level, you can make a difference by noticing the people you see each day. It doesn’t take a lot to smile and be friendly to the people around you, and you could make all the difference to somebody having a bad day. What if you were the first person who had smiled or spoken to them during the day or week? What if your kind hello to a stranger on a bus was the first positive recognition they had received in a long time? What if your simple actions saved their lives, gave them hope, elevated their self-worth, and gave them the impetus to be kind to others? One seemingly insignificant action can have far-reaching consequences.
Support a person in need. Is there somebody you know in need? Do you have a friend, colleague, or neighbor in need of support, be that with practical help or a listening ear? Show them your care by being there for them. Take the time to talk, help, and lift their burdens. You are only one person, but how many times have you wished for that one person to be there for you? Helping somebody else might slow down your day. You might have to sacrifice your needs for somebody else’s. But if you want to see a change in the world, it begins with the people nearest to you. By making a positive difference to their day, you not only help them, but you also raise the potential for them to follow your example and help others.
Stand up for the needs of others. Write a blog and raise issues for social change. Attend community meetings and speak out on behalf of those people, such as the homeless, who don’t always have the opportunity to raise their voice. Be that person who challenges another when they treat somebody else disrespectfully. Encourage others to give to a good cause. Don’t ignore the needs of others; be the Good Samaritan who doesn’t walk on by, but who stops to help, despite the time it takes and personal cost. We live in a world where many people show little care for the needs of others, but in word and action, you can stand against the norm.
Consider a change in career. In our previous suggestions, you can make a difference by simply being you. No matter who you are or where you are in the world, you can make a positive impact while going about your daily life. But what if you could do more? What if you could fashion your life with a career that gave you the scope to change your community, spread compassion, and create massive life changes in others? You could support your community by working in politics. You could offer a listening ear by working as a counsellor. You could bring social change to your neighborhood by working with young people. You could work towards public safety after attaining an online safety management degree. You could be a nurse, a social worker, a teacher, a police officer, a community worker… you could be anything you wanted to be, with the right training behind you. Especially if your current position makes little impact to the world around you, it might be time to make that career change and better the lives of others.
Work as a volunteer. If changing career is difficult for you, then why not consider voluntary work? While you won’t get paid, the personal rewards are more than worth it. And thinking beyond selfish reasons, you will also be helping others. You could volunteer with an organization in your neighborhood, perhaps with the homeless at a shelter or young people in a community group. Or you could consider voluntary work overseas, perhaps using your vacation time to work in a country with people in poverty. Rather than using your downtime to do something that only benefits your life, this is your opportunity to give back to the world, on a local or global level.
One person can make a difference, and that person can be you. So, today, be the change that you want to see in the world. Through small deed or big deed, do what you can, and who knows? You might yet see peace, love, and compassion emerge because of the things you said and did. Ask yourself then: What can I do today? How can I make a positive difference to the world around me? Raise the question and then do something, anything, to make change possible to the people in the world around you.