How can you help change the world for the better? Got it? Now think of 9 more.
My list of 10 suggestions for ways the world can be changed is as follows (in no particular order – I will try and do them when I can, and as I remember to put them into practice):
- Smile and light up another’s day When we are out and about, we are often caught up in our own world of worries and concerns, so we fail to notice that we are not alone! Smile at the next stranger you see, it may just make their day. It is nice to connect with others, even at a minor level, and a smile just says “Hey, I know you are there, and I acknowledge your presence.” And of course, always smile at your friends and loved ones – it shows you care!
- Give gratitude for everything in your life Try and appreciate all that you have, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Be thankful that you have a place to sleep, eat and be with your loved ones. Try and see the blessing in every situation. If someone gives you a compliment, thank them, don’t brush it off. Show your appreciation of others and what they do for you. Make your life more abundant by being thankful.
- Clean up your environment I don’t live too far from the beach, and love to go for walks by the water. Although it is pretty clean, there are times, especially holiday times when it’s busier, that it can end up with a lot of rubbish. It doesn’t hurt to clean up after others, and set a good example. I try to remember to take a plastic bag with me and pick up rubbish as I come across it on my walk, as it not only makes it more pleasant for me, but for others too. This goes for anywhere in your neighbourhood, or your own garden, home or car!
- Recycle as much as you can Luckily here in Australia, our councils provide recycling bins to each home which makes it easy to recycle paper, plastic, glass and cans. You need to remember to do this though! The less that goes to the dump, the better. Be responsible and make sure you teach your kids good habits too!
- Help others in any way you can Donating to a worthwhile cause, and one close to your heart is a charitable thing to do, but it is not always easy to donate money as there are times when finances are tough. Do that if you can, but you can also donate in other ways – with your time, your talents, or your heart. Animal shelters often need dog walkers, stores need volunteers to sort clothes, books and other goods.
- Frequent your local charity stores I am constantly surprised by not only the amount, but the quality of goods in charity shops. It is telling me that a lot of us who live in the Western world, have far too much stuff! Seeing what is donated makes me think that either the people donating are replacing the goods with something new (when often the thing they have donated is obviously still good enough to use), or they have decided that they didn’t need the item after all, in which case they have wasted their money and the resources required to make the product. We don’t need anywhere near the amount of ‘stuff’ we currently have in our homes or wardrobes. By shopping at a charity store, you not only support the charity, but grab a bargain and help the earth as well, as less resources are being used to produce goods that aren’t really necessary.
- Join on-line organisations that support good causes There are a number of groups on the ‘net that start petitions to make change in the world, such as GetUp!, Avaaz.org and Change.org to name a few. You can add your name to those petitions you feel are worthwhile – it is amazing what difference they make all over the world, letting governments know what the people think on certain issues such as the environment, human rights, equality and animal welfare.
- Share with others This can be in any number of ways. Sharing skills, healing abilities, education; a listening ear, sharing your thoughts, ideals, aspirations, ways of changing the world; car pooling, resources, produce; love, laughter, joy.
- Buy your pets from an animal shelter There are so many unwanted pets out there! Animal shelters do a great job of taking them in and looking after them. Unfortunately the realities are that they can’t always house all of them, so a lot get euthanased (put down). If you are keen to have a pet, especially a cat or dog, please visit your local shelter and give a home to one already needing it. You don’t need to go to a breeder to get a wonderful companion. Most shelters make sure the animal is vaccinated and wormed before you buy.
- Respect others’ points of view, religion, race, gender etc. Regardless of what a person believes that is different to you, or if they are of another nationality, gender, age, have a better or worse job than you – they deserve your respect. Underneath we are all simply human beings on this planet, and the sooner we recognise that we are not so different to each other underneath the surface, the better and more peaceful our world will become. We are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions, and NO ONE has the right to force their ideas on anyone else. Act with respect, withhold judgement, treat others equally.
Now make your own list of 10 (or more) and start making the changes you want to see in the world!