Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” The wonderful thing about doing this is that you can set off chain after chain of positive events, just by beginning with one action, one intention. Some call it the “Butterfly Effect”. One small, positive thing you do can have repercussions all around the world.
Whatever positive actions you want to see more of, take responsibility to produce it yourself.
When you show the world your willingness to be positive, others will follow your lead, and before you know it, you’re changing the world – just through one action at a time. There’s no better way to effect positive changes in the world.
If you’re stumped about what you can do to make the world a better place, try these ideas:
1. Focus on what others say, without interrupting. It sounds simple, yet you find yourself wanting to cut others off in conversation or rush them to finish speaking. Instead of listening to reply – wanting to get your own viewpoint out there at the expense of others, try truly listening and then responding to what they have said. This makes others feel valued – like they matter – and that’s one positive change you just produced.
* In being around you, they learn to do the same and spread the concept to others, who then repeat the process.
2. Give away some things. You probably have items in good condition that you don’t use anymore. Pack a box full of things you no longer use and take them to a local charity or contribute them to a community yard sale.
* Someone will benefit from your items and you’ll both feel good about your action.
3. Take action to help others. Research charities you’re interested in and then offer to help. You could call local social service agencies and volunteer your services for free.
* Maybe you’re an accountant and could do their accounting at no cost. If you’re a maintenance worker, offer your “fix-it” services to charities’ offices.
* You could knit or crochet blankets, baby hats, and shawls for local hospitals, hospices, or nursing homes.
4. Organize a volunteer effort to assist a group of individuals. For example, collect boxed foods and blankets and ship them to US military bases all over the world. Another example is to raise money for construction materials to send to Haiti to build new homes and schools for communities hampered by storms.
* If you’re aware of the needs of a certain group, start your own local efforts to assist.
5. Deposit change in vending machines and walk away. A simple and fun way to “pay it forward” is to put enough change in a vending machine so the next person that walks up can receive a drink or snack for free.
6. Adopt a a needy family. During the holidays, you won’t need a lot of money to share the holiday spirit with others. Through local churches or social service agencies, you can “adopt” a local family.
* Churches and Organizations will provide you with the first names of a nuclear family’s members, their genders, and ages so you can purchase 1-2 gifts for each of them. Sometimes, the list you’re given provides you with clothing sizes and gift ideas for each family member.
* After shopping, place the tagged gifts in a big box and drop them off to the organization sponsoring the Adopt-a-Family event. You can bring joy and happiness to an anonymous family at holiday time.
* You don’t have to wait for the holidays to help out a family. Missions all over the world help support families that need food, clothing, and school supplies. Your neighborhood churches can put you in touch with someone in need.
7. Pay for a family’s dinner when you’re dining out. You have a golden opportunity to change the world by anonymously paying for a family’s meal. If you like, have the server give them a note onto which you scribbled, “Pass it on.”
You can effect more positive change in the world around you than you realize. Strive to do helpful, giving, and caring actions for others. Demonstrating kindness is truly contagious. Live a passionate life by changing the world one action at a time.