So, you’re wondering how to make a difference, huh? Whatever your cause, trying to effect meaningful change can leave you feeling both frustrated and powerless if you’re not quite sure how to go about it. You might not have a large on which platform to reach out to others. You might not have the right connections in your community. If you think of yourself as just one person with one voice, it can seem an impossible task to try to change the minds of others. But all is not lost! I’m here to tell you why it’s all about quality over quantity and how you can make a difference.
How to Make a Difference: 6 Smart Ways to Quietly Change the World
- Educate yourself. This has got to be number one, because the more you know, the better you’re able to help your cause. If you want others to believe in the same things you do, you have got to know the answers to all the questions that they’ll be asking. Here’s the thing: most people don’t like change. Most of us are comfortable as we are, doing our thing and so feel a certain amount of resistance when faced with somebody trying to encourage us to do things differently. This is where your knowledge comes into play. The more answers you have, the more persuasive you can be. If the cause you fight for is veganism, having the facts and figures like how much land is subject to deforestation each year and how drastic climate change is for our planet, you can offer up a strong case for change. (BTW, 17% of the Amazon has been lost in the last 50 years, mostly for animal agriculture, and we’re talking flooding, coral bleaching, and extinction as just a few of the effects of climate change.) Spend whatever free time you have learning the latest on your cause, and share this knowledge with your peers.
- Think of solutions. This can be a creative challenge, but if the world is going to change, someone has got to be that change. Grab a pen and paper and start listing the ways you’d like to see things being done differently. Then comes the hard part: start doing as many of those things as is feasible! If you’re sick of trash, go zero waste and start posting about it on social media. If you loathe pesticides, grow your own organic vegetables and show others how easy it can be. Or better, cook your friends a meal with the produce, so they can taste how delicious it is! These doable solutions are what cause the biggest chain reaction. Although, if your calling is to invent some fantastic renewable energy resource, by all means, please go for that Ph.D.!
- Start a volunteering project. When I was in college, I spent all my free time surfing. I was sick of all the trash that I would have to trample over to get to the water. Nothing quite ruins a beautiful sunset on the beach like a tampon applicator poking at your foot from the sand below. Enough was enough, I had decided. I spoke to my Environmental Science lecturer and posed the idea of starting a beach clean-up project. I spoke to as many classes as I could and had a solid 20 people show interest. Success! I was expecting 1 or 2, so this was great! Partnered with the college, I was able to get an official minibus, a stash of litter-pickers, and some enthusiastic helpers to clean up our local beach once a week. It was a fun way to spend our time, doing good and preserving the beauty of the shore.
- Choose your words wisely. You might not be consciously aware of it, but interacting with the right person can completely change your day. You might have woken up on the wrong side of the bed for whatever reason, but having a friendly neighbor pay you a compliment or bus driver tell a joke can pick up your mood and change your day’s dynamic. Try your best to be this person. Not every day, as I know life gets in the way and we’re all only human. But make it your goal to speak with kindness. Listen to others and try to perk them up if they seem a little down. If you can do it, get them laughing. Laughing heals pretty much everything (apart from maybe a broken rib) and is contagious so will spread like wildfire.
- Look after your mind, body, and soul. We can only do our best when we feel our best. Spend time with yourself, get to know and heal yourself. Eat well and strengthen your body. Study what makes you happy and pursue those things. When we’re happy, we are more hard-working and productive. Changing the world takes a lot of focus and determination. Look after yourself, because only then can you reach your full potential.
- Donate what you can. We live in a monetary society and for as long as that’s the case, money is our energetic currency. What you spend your money on is what you are energetically investing in. Even if you’re on minimum wage, you can probably afford to donate $5.00 a month. Spend this money on the cause you are fighting for. Plus, there’s a little-known secret that you get what you give. It’s universal law. A bit like karma. If you give your best, you’ll get more in return. I was talking to my local greengrocer as I do when I stop by the market most weekends. He told me a story about how twenty-odd years ago he thought he’d start going to church. He thought it’d be good for him. In church, the pastor talked about the importance of tithing (or giving 10% of what you earn to the church to help the “needy.”) My man thought to himself, “OK, I’ll go ahead and give that a go…” knowing that his business wasn’t earning too much at the time and he thought, “well, can’t do any harm.” He went on to earn 5x more than he usually earns that week and the business has come on in leaps and bounds since. I think he’s giving to other causes now, but he highlighted the importance of giving what you can as it’ll come straight back into your pocket in unimaginable ways.
What’s your cause? How are you quietly changing the world?
Also by Kat: Are You A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)? Why It Doesn’t Mean You’re Weak
Related: 6 Peaceful Ways To Be An Activist (Whether Or Not You’re Down To Protest)
5 Best Documentaries of 2017 You Must Watch If You Care About Climate Change & Justice
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