We would all like to live in a kinder, greener, less stress-filled world, right? A world where our kids can thrive and be happy. But the world in general is bogged down by real struggles against poverty, disease, crime, violence, environmental degradation, ignorance and so on, which constitutes much pain.

Anyone can complain, point fingers and shift blame for the problems that plague our world today, but it takes a difference maker to initiate a positive change in the world. It takes a better man or woman to acknowledge the issues in our world and take small steps toward making a positive difference.

Small actions done with care and a pure heart every day have tremendous value and can influence the world around you, as well as the world at large. While the contents of this list might not be new, they bear repeating. Sometimes it takes a few reminders for things to sink in.

Here are 39 little things you can do every day to make it a better world.

  1. Say hello to people you meet on the streets. 80% of the people you meet are generally good, decent people

  2. Laugh and give others the benefit of a doubt. You might be wrong, but so what? Laughter is contagious

  3. Give free hugs. Apart from reducing stress and tension, it’s a gift that is immediately reciprocated and will make people feel great, even long after

  4. Smile at the cashier, waiter, barista, parking ramp attendant etc., and ask them how they are doing. Everyone wants to feel love, connection and affection

  5. Really listen to what people have to say (intently) without interrupting or waiting impatiently for your turn to speak

  6. Find some aspect to appreciate in the people you meet and pass along compliments

  7. Offer directions to people who seem lost

  8. Support someone who’s striving for a goal with your money, advice, presence or other form of support

  9. Babysit for free

  10. Provide a foster home for an animal in need

  11. Feed domestic animals and birds (if you have any) and give them enough water to drink

  12. Water your plants, lawn and or garden early in the morning before any moisture is lost to evaporation

  13. Leave treats out for pets, wildlife and other furry friends to enjoy, such as nuts for the squirrels, a salt lick for the deer or simply fill up the bird feeder

  14. Be patient, kind and respectful to people who are older than you

  15. Respect people’s property and don’t take it without permission, trespass or damage maliciously. Instead protect and keep it safe

  16. Hold doors for people carrying heavy things, pushing strollers or just immediately behind you

  17. Offer to return grocery carts for those who are leaving when you are going toward the store entrance

  18. Refer your friends, family, relatives and or acquaintances to qualified service providers

  19. Help a neighbor with a task, such as taking trash to the curb, raking extra leaves or running an errand

  20. Share a special meal with those you care about

  21. Create necessity packs and give them to those unsure of where their next meal or shelter is going to come from

  22. Drive responsibly, making sure to obey stop lights, traffic rules and keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead

  23. Give preference to pedestrians, motorists or other road users at intersections. The person behind you might not approve, but kindness starts with you

  24. Offer your seat to someone who needs it

  25. Read to the kids, the elderly and or the shut-ins

  26. Donate what you don’t need in your house to shelters, the Salvation Army, or other institutions serving those in need

  27. Let someone off the hook for a mistake or misdeed and see how it makes both of you feel

  28. Save your recyclable trash till you find someplace to recycle them

  29. Turn off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode. You can save 40 watt-hours per day

  30. Turn off the lights and faucet when not in use

  31. Turn on the oven only when you put the dish in to save energy. Don’t pre-heat the oven unless you are making bread or pastries of some sort

  32. Use one less napkin a day. More than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year

  33. Use both sides of paper, and set your printer’s default option to print double-sided (duplex printing). You’ll be saving many trees

  34. Recycle your daily newspaper. Recycling just the Sunday papers would save more than half a million trees every week

  35. Ban bath time! Take showers instead. Baths require almost twice as much water and inflate energy costs for heating the water

  36. Brush without running the water. You’ll conserve up to five gallons per day if you stop running

  37. Shower with your partner. Not only will you have made a wise choice for the environment, but you may notice some other pleasant… benefits

  38. Take a shorter shower. Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten gallons of water

  39. Make art—paint, sculpt, sketch, write, compose music, create dance moves—whatever it is. Do it and finish it. It will add color to the world

Remember every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play to make this world a better place.

Featured photo credit: World In Your Hands via stokpic.com

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