Can one person really make a difference? Yes, of course they can, and that person can be you. Rather than living a life always thinking about your wants and needs, you can do something today, this week, and this year, that will change the world around you.
What do we mean? Well, consider the following.
You can operate kindness with the people around you on a daily basis. It doesn’t take much effort to smile, flashing your pearly whites, offering a kind word even to strangers sitting on a bus. These simple actions can positively influence their day. You can even go above and beyond the call of duty, sacrificing your time to help others. If you know of a neighbor in need or a work colleague who is struggling, don’t walk on by hoping that somebody else will help them! Be that good Samaritan who actively takes an interest in their lives and offer a lending hand.
You can change the way you spend your money. Rather than buying your outfits from those companies who tear down rain forests and use child labor, start to buy ethical fashion, and then spread the word to let others know who they should (and shouldn’t) buy from. Also, don’t use all of your paycheck on yourself. If you have spare money, rather than buying another pair of shoes, handbag, or some other such luxury, donate something to a charity that holds some kind of meaning to you.
Consider changing your career if it isn’t doing much to change the lives of others. There are other jobs that actively make an impact, and despite the financial rewards, you will also get the personal satisfaction that you have done something to help another. So, consider your options. Could you become a nurse, youth worker, or teacher? Could you take an education masters online and use the qualification to teach in a country more in need than your own? Could you start your own business, and give a portion of your profits to a charity, or better yet, could you start a charity yourself? You do have options, above and beyond what you may be doing at the moment.
Or how about voluntary work, which may be the most common-sense thing if you aren’t able to give up your career path just yet. There are bound to be charities or organisations near you that are desperate for somebody to lend assistance. Work with the homeless at a shelter. Support people on the breadline at a Food Bank. Offer a helping hand at your local school, and support the teacher by helping children with their reading. Join a conservation group and do something to help protect the environment. There are opportunities out there, so consider your skills and passions, then follow your heart into a place where you can make a difference.
You can create a positive impact in the world, so take your eyes away from yourself and look at the world around you. There are many needs out there, on a local and global level. What could you do to make a difference? What could you do today?