In a world where Russia invades Ukraine, IS murders those who won’t convert, and violence or deceit are under constant discussion on the evening news, it can begin to feel as if we have no control over our world. And, to be honest, we have very little control, at least in the big scheme of things. With this feeling comes also the idea that we cannot create change. No matter what we do, blood is still going to fly and lies are still going to govern policy.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t do something. No, we may not be able to shift things on a grand scale, but we can at least seek to be change in our smaller spheres. And who knows? This may affect in a positive way a person who can go on and change the world for the better. Here are five suggestions on how to “be the change” and positively affect the world around us.
Five Ways to Be the Change
1. Give a damn about the environment.
I don’t mean we should all become a soy-milk-drinking, only-wear-hemp vegetarians. However, we only have one planet and as the dominant species, we should take care of it. Giving a damn about the environment could be as simple as recycling, cutting down on how much plastic we use, and taking public transit or walking/biking rather than using our cars.
2. Be kind.
Yes, it’s hard to be kind to the person who cuts in front of us in line or to the customer (or employee) who is rude or to the people we detest the most. But that doesn’t change the fact that we should be kind. Kindness can open doors that would otherwise remain close and, like the above quote, everyone is fighting a battle. For all we know, the person cutting in front of us has a lot on his mind or the rude employee just came onto her shift after visiting her mother in the hospital. But we don’t know, so we should be kind.
3. Support local business.
Supporting local businesses not only helps the local economy but it also helps a person realize their dream, whether it be running a cafe or operating a bookstore. Local businesses can also give better customer service and better products. Also, there is a certain atmosphere a local bakery can offer that the bakery section of Wal-mart cannot.
4. Buy local.
This goes a little hand in hand with supporting local business. Buying local means buying locally grown vegetables, flowers, and honey. Again, this helps the economy and the items are fresher. Also, buying fewer items that have to be shipped means less fossil fuel used which means we’re also doing step number one, giving a damn about the environment.
5. Help those in need.
There are people and creatures in this world who need help or who are lonely. These are the homeless, the terminally ill, the elderly, and the mentally challenged, among others. This doesn’t mean we should all be Mother Teresas, but we should consider helping others when we get the chance.
This can be volunteering at a soup kitchen, a hospital, or a hospice. This can be donating money or materials. This can be actually stopping when we see someone with a sign asking for help and offering to buy them food. There are also the hundreds of animals filling up our shelters who need good foster homes or the shelters themselves who need food and other supplies.
We need to stop looking so intently at the big picture and realize that even the smallest of actions can create a great good. We don’t have to solve all the big problems. We must only do what we can to leave the world a slightly better place than how we found it.
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