Can we help each other to have a better world? The short answer is yes. You don’t need to end a war or solve problems like starvation and pollution to make a positive difference. We’re sharing 14 simple things you can do today to start improving our communities and the lives of our loved ones.
14. Start your own business
If you know the solution to a problem, you can help others in many ways. For example, when you have a stable and successful business, you can donate to charities and support the local economy.
13. Trust others
When you don’t trust others, it can lead to unnecessary arguments. Instead of cutting out people from your life or judging someone who might not be guilty of doing something, give them the benefit of the doubt. It will help you and your relationship with them.
12. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude won’t solve world hunger, tackle climate change, or get your friend out of a tight spot. But it will improve your mood. Indeed, gratitude acts as a barrier to negativity. You feel lighter and see things more positively. And when you feel good, you’re ten times more likely to do good.
So, in your bid to make the world a better place, start cultivating a grateful outlook on life. You’ll start recognizing the goodness in people. You’ll rediscover a sense of hope. And you’ll start spreading that positivity around your friendship group and the local community.
11. Prioritize Self-Care
Sometimes, to be able to make a difference in the world and treat other people with respect and kindness, you have to put yourself first. It’s like the advice you get in airplanes: in the event of a disaster, put your own oxygen mask on before anyone else’s.
Keep that in mind as you walk through life. Treat yourself kindly. Take breaks. Exercise and eat well. Spend time with positive people. And speak to yourself as you would a loved one. Do that and you should end up in a much better frame of mind, which then makes you ten times more likely (and able) to put good into the world.
10. Be Kind
There’s a cheesy quote that goes something like, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” It’s a useful thing to keep in mind as you walk through life!
Smile at someone on the bus. Give up your seat for someone less able to stand. Compliment your friend on their smile. It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. And, like dropping a pebble into a lake, small acts of kindness have a ripple effect that spreads positivity further than you’d think.
If you want to feel good and make a difference, volunteer. There’s just something special about lending your energy to a cause or project with no expectation of payment. It’s good for the soul.
And, whether you help at a soup kitchen, take on a voluntary role in a charity, or anything else, you make the world a better place in a very tangible way.
8. Reconsider Your Spending Habits
“It’s my money. I’ll do what I want with it.” Agreed. But, if we really want to make the world a better place, most of us could benefit from reconsidering how we spend our cash. Why? Because buying an item is like voting for it – and the industry/business that made it.
So stick to brands with a good environmental track-record, shop at thrift stores, buy from local businesses over major chains, buy food with less plastic packaging, and so on and so forth. Remember: every vote counts.
7. Learn to Listen and Compromise
A big chunk of the world’s problems would be solved if people simply started listening to each other. Assuming you’re right and everyone else is wrong is a recipe for conflict. How many arguments have started due to stubbornness and self-righteousness?
Instead, listen to what other people have to say. Give them time to express themselves. Respect their opinions, then express your own. Find some middle-ground. Be willing to accept they might know more than you. Productive, thoughtful conversations never go amiss when you’re trying to better the world.
6. Donate Money
The world is full of problems. Thankfully, it’s also full of inspiring people and organizations striving to tackle them. Unfortunately, they rarely have the funding they need to do their important work as effectively as possible.
Why not allocate a certain percentage of your income to donating to causes/projects/organizations that speak to you? From $10 to $10,000, every single donation will be gratefully received – and make a positive difference.
Another type of donation that’s good for the world and sometimes more accessible is giving unwanted clothes/shoes to charity.
5. Educate Yourself
Being uninformed can hamstring any efforts to make the world a better place. It’s like trying to treat a medical issue that hasn’t been diagnosed yet. You might prescribe something that makes matters worse.
That’s why it’s crucial to educate ourselves on the world’s problems. A solid understanding of what’s wrong means you can act in a way that make things better, not worse. It also prevents you from accidentally spreading misinformation.
4. Be a Good Role Model
To paraphrase some sage advice we once heard, we’d all benefit from “walking through life pretending to be the hero in your own movie.”
You might feel like sitting on the couch, eating ice cream, and moaning about everything that’s wrong with the world. But picture yourself as the good guy in the movies – the leader that others turn to for guidance on how to live an exemplary life. What would you be doing if that was the case?
Moreover, being a good role model invites the same behavior in others. It sets another ripple effect in motion that can span generations.
3. Put Others First
There are some situations where it pays to put yourself first. Like putting your oxygen mask on if something goes wrong on an airplane. Or looking after your mental health so you’re in a stronger position to help others.
Nevertheless, choosing to put other people’s needs before your own is a virtue that’d make the world a much better place if everyone did it more often. It’s about being selfless and kind; helpful, courteous, and empathic. It doesn’t mean you have to suffer or go without. It’s merely an intention to be considerate to others. As Mahatma Ghandi once quipped, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Everyone wins when we look out for each other.
2. Don’t Be Wasteful
According to the UN, “Enough food is produced today to feed everyone on the planet, but hunger is on the rise in some parts of the world, and some 821 million people are considered to be “chronically undernourished”.”
It’s a sobering thought. And one we could all do with thinking about next time we’re cooking dinner or grocery shopping. Are we really going to eat everything we’re making/buying? Or will we end up chucking some of it out? Likewise, is there anything we can donate to the local food bank?
Food waste isn’t the only problem, either. From plastic packaging and showering for too long to leaving lights on unnecessarily, we can make a dent in many of the world’s problems by reducing the amount of waste we produce.
1. Give Blood (and Donate Organs)
Giving blood is a quick way to make a huge difference. You can literally save someone’s life – especially if you have a rare blood type. Likewise, why not sign up to become an organ donor? It’s a simple thing almost anyone can do that could potentially save numerous lives.
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