At any given point, the world is facing crises that seem overwhelming. Today, we face political upheaval, war, famine, economic hardship, hatred, and environmental issues. If I wanted to focus on the negatives, I could continue that list for pages and pages. It’s certainly easy to get frustrated and think that nothing can possibly be done to make things any better.
The world becomes a better place when ordinary people commit to doing social good every day. If you aren’t sure where to begin, keep reading. Here are 7 things that you can begin doing today to make a positive impact on the world.
Here are 7 things that you can begin doing today to make a positive impact on the world.
1. Be Alert And Mindful
One thing that I am very guilty of is walking around in my own world. If I’m not staring at my phone, I am often immersed in a book. The problem with this is that it causes me to miss opportunities to do small acts of kindness or charity.
I’ve committed to changing that a bit. I’m working hard to pay attention to the world around me. By doing this, I’m finding ways to do little things such as giving up my seat on the train for a man who looked simply exhausted, or helping a woman to corral her dog. These aren’t life changing things, but there’s always a piece of litter that can be picked up, a person who needs a door held open, or someone who just needs a kind word.
2. Change How And Where You Spend Your Money
Money isn’t the most important thing in the world. However, when it comes to doing positive things, it sure has a lot of power. In fact, the simple purchasing decisions that you make on a daily basis can really make a difference. For example, most people buy tickets to concerts and sporting events several times each year. Imagine the good that could be done if everybody decided to use Good Deed Seats to purchase those tickets.
Next, take some time to think about where you go shopping in your community. Are you spending your money at big box stores? They are often more convenient and less expensive, but consider the benefit to your community if you started shopping in locally owned stores.
3. Show Kindness When Interacting With Disagreeable People
You’re trying to make a return and the customer service clerk is being rude. You’ve waited twenty minutes just to get a cup of coffee, and the server brings you regular instead of black. Somebody cuts in front of you at the store. When these things happen, it’s tempting to snap at people, to match wits, or to complain about them.
Before you do that, stop. It’s impossible to know whether or not somebody is incompetent or intentionally rude, or if they are having a really bad day. Try hard to give people the benefit of the doubt. Doing so never hurts you, and it could mean a lot to a hurting stranger.
4. Volunteer Today!
Since college, I’ve always spent a few days over the Christmas holidays volunteering at a homeless shelter. That’s not a humblebrag. In fact, lots of people do the same thing. In fact, that’s where the problem lies. Us human beings are great at being generous in the face of the holiday season, or when tragedy strikes. The question is, where are we the rest of the time?
There are people and organizations in your community that can use your help today. Don’t wait for Christmas. Call a food bank in your area and ask if you can come in to help today. Walk into an animal shelter and ask if they need help cleaning cages. There are immediate needs all around you.
5. Do The Charitable Things That You Have Been Putting Off
As I write this, I am acutely aware of a box of clothing that I haven’t worn in months. It’s sitting in my storage closet waiting for me to drop it off at the local women’s shelter. I am guessing that I am not alone in this.
If you’ve been intending to donate food, goods, or money to a charity, do it today. Don’t put it off any longer. If you keep meaning to start a compost pile, or to finally begin recycling, there’s no better time to start than today.
6. Change The Way You Consume
Everybody likes stuff. Unfortunately, consumerism truly does have a negative impact on the world around us. It leads to economic problems in third world countries, environmental troubles, causes debt, and clutters our lives. Here are a few changes you can make.
- Buy more ingredients and less pre-packaged food.
- Spend money on experiences.
- Get items fixed instead of replacing them.
- Donate things or repurpose them instead of throwing them away.
- Purchase items with the least amount of packaging.
- Buy things from companies that practice fair trade and have environmentally friendly policies.
7. Reach Out to a Lonely Neighbor or Family Member
Do you have a neighbor who lives alone, and rarely gets visitors? What about a family member who rarely sees their children? Pick up the phone. Invite them to lunch. Bring them lunch if they cannot or will not go out. Drop off a book that you think they might like. Watch television with them. Your presence could make a huge difference in the quality of their life.
Everybody has the potential to make the world a better place. Start doing social good today. It’s truly what the world needs right now.