Sadly, many people believe that the problems of the world are so great that they couldn’t possibly have what it takes to make a difference to the world. They believe only charismatic outgoing people like Martin Luther King or other inspirational leaders like Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Malala, Thomas Edison, the list goes on, are capable of making a difference.
Fortunately, the truth is, every one of us is capable of making a difference and can have a role in this world in contributing in their own unique way. We can all be “change-makers”.
It doesn’t need to be on a huge scale. It just needs to be something you can do, with the underlying intention of “doing good”.
Here’s a few practical ideas as to how individuals can play a part in making a difference in and to our world.
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
- Just Start
- Don’t Muck Around – Start Now
- Nothing is too Small
- Share some Powerful Free Gifts
- Empower others
- Educate yourself
- The Bigger Picture
- Be an Influencer
1. Just Start
Do not allow the size of the worlds problems stop you just getting started with something.
2. Don’t Ponder – Get Moving
There’s never a perfect time. As I’ve learnt “imperfect action” is far better than “no action”. You don’t need to wait for the weekend, the holidays, next year – when you have more time….. just share some love today.
You don’t have to wait until your bank balance is healthier, share a meal. A smile as you pass a stranger in the street has the potential to make someone’s day even. The essence is, little things count, and you can start with something, however small, today.
3. Nothing is too Small
If you think your contribution is not going to make much of a difference and there are others out there who might be more equipped or better organised, you’re right but you’re also wrong. Can you imagine what would happen if everyone thought this way?
With awareness, comes responsibility. So look out for ways to contribute – little ways and large ways too. What counts is making an effort. A bit like parents encouraging our kids “as long as you do your best”.
4. Share Some Powerful FREE Gifts
There are many things we can do and many ways we can gift others and it doesn’t always cost financially either. Just taking a pause in our busyness and considering others. Simple things like a smile, a helping hand, just listening to someone without judgement…Too often we’re so focussed on our own needs that we forget to go back to these simple basics that show care and concern for our fellow human beings.
Be generous with kindness and love towards others, it cannot be spread too thinly.
Act with passion and compassion and all these things will help make this world a safer and a happier place for us all and the generations that follow.
5. Empower Others
You can change the world by helping one person at a time. One of the ways to help someone is to empower them. How you ask? Well there are numerous ways. You might like to join Make a Difference Collective Facebook Group and join a group of people on a journey to live life more ethically with a focus on people and the planet.
Things as simple as being generous in sharing your time, or giving praise and encouragement instead of criticism. Building people up to thrive and be a better version of themselves.
6. Educate Yourself
It all starts with awareness.
One of the key issues we can make a difference is through what we consume & purchase on an everyday basis. By simply raising awareness about what trading fairly is and making a choice to talk and share about our own personal journeys towards being more conscious of our consuming – we can’t help but start making a difference. Understanding the impact our purchases have on the makers, suppliers, farmers – the people, the faces behind the things we buy.
There are loads of books, you tube clips, films etc etc to gain more awareness of the issues involved.
I strongly believe The True Cost movie should be mandatory viewing in the school curriculum as it covers so many aspects: social, environmental, economic and portrays the realities of how the current system is seriously flawed in a myriad of ways. I have personally watched it 5 times now and pick up new information each time and strongly recommend you watch it with you family and/or a bunch of friends.
7. The Bigger Picture
We don’t want to be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. As change makers we want to play a part in making the world a better place for those currently in it and for generations to come.
This is important given a lot of products we purchase are sourced from developing countries. The tragedy is, the people who produce the raw ingredients, make the goods, ship the goods ie the whole supply chain that’s involved in bringing our products to us are subject to pretty unscrupulous treatment. The environment is not treated with respect either.
Gender inequality is a huge issue too. As Kofi Annan (then UN Secretary-General, 2006) says, “It is impossible to realise our (UN) goals while discriminating against half the human race. As study after study has taught us, there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”
8. Be an Influencer
To have even more impact, do things that make a difference and have conversations that matter.
Be intentional about influencing others to consider joining you to help make a difference.
What’s the best way to convince people? Lead by example and communicate and share what you’re doing.
Start doing whatever you feel comfortable doing. Start with your nearest and dearest, then perhaps a cheeky smile at a stranger, then maybe a donation of your time or money with a charity and start thinking about what you are purchasing.
Use the “less is more” philosophy and ask “who made my clothes or home decor items” when out shopping.
Support businesses with ethically sourced products. Download the “Good on You” App which tells you which fashion companies are making efforts to ensure no one is suffering to bring us the clothes we wear.
Every little bit counts. We have choices so let’s use it for GOOD. A little something everyday is a wonderful place to start.