Five Ways to Make the World a Better Place:
Someone in my Twitter feed, who shall remain nameless, once complained that they didn’t want to watch the news because the issues seemed so big and he was helpless to change any of it.
I can relate to that! It’s frustrating to see so many *effed up* things happening, and to feel like there’s nothing we can do to stop it. In fact, I’d go one more step and say it’s frustrating because we don’t even know what’s happening. The news tells us what it wants to tell us, what it thinks will sell ads, and how much “Truth” is in there is sometimes hard to say.
Nonetheless, ignorance is not the answer! Nor is inactivity. There are lots of ways we can potentially impact the world around us! For the purposes of this piece, we’ll keep it very small scale.
1) Connect with someone you wouldn’t normally connect with.
*So many problems are caused by the separation of different sorts of peoples, and the assumptions that continue unchallenged because of that separation. Let’s face it: often, when we talk about our favorite –isms, we’re pretty much yapping to people who already agree. We also have to face the fact that we each have bits of our own “–isms”. If you think you don’t, you probably aren’t the best judge. Hanging out with new and different people is a great way to learn about each other, as well as ourselves.
2) Smile and say something nice
*I don’t think I need to explain the “why” of this one (grins). But it’s something many of us don’t actually practice. Make a point to smile and say something nice to someone every day. If it’s work, then what does that say about you? To me, it says that you really need to make a habit out of this one.
3) Create a new good habit
*Speaking of habits! These are the things that kinda shape our lives, even when we aren’t conscious of them. We have habits from as young as our formative years. But it’s not impossible to make new ones. Pick something that’s realistic, healthy and good for you, whoever you are and whatever your circumstances. Figure out the best way to incorporate it into your regular routine — whether it’s ten crunches a day, or reading a few pages of fiction. Having good habits improves the way you interact with the world around you.
4) Engage in an important topic
*I know you have friends. But if you’re like me, sometimes you just talk about the latest TV show, or comic book, or whatever. Take the time to talk about something “relevant.” Maybe you know a bunch of stuff, or find yourself concerned with a bunch of stuff, but maybe the people around you don’t. Moreover, maybe they know something you don’t know, or have an interesting take on a subject. As you engage with people around relevant topics, you may find you’re not as alone as you think; or that people who didn’t know about something are glad to know.
5) Get yourself healthy (er)
*You can contribute to the betterment of the world only inasmuch as your health allows. And hey, we want you to stick around! Especially if you’re someone interested in making the world a better place. So do something small, on a regular basis, to get your health just one or two notches better. Better breakfast habits? A daily walk around the block? Parking spot away from the door, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Small changes that stick are a great way to make a start towards something good.
So… how will these things affect our relationship with the Middle East, or prevent high-seas piracy, or feed starving children???
Great question. The fact is, we exist as a social, global organism. None of us live in a vacuum, and everything we do is connected in one way or another. Even though these are very small, highly localized actions (and relatively easy too, mind you!), the more positivity and mutual understanding any of us can generate, the closer we come to affecting the world on a significant level.
And hey! Making new friends, improving our own understanding of the world, and spreading a little happiness and good energy is waaaaay better than just feeling frustrated and giving up! If nothing else, hopefully you will improve your neighborhood and the people around you, as well as yourself.
Good luck. Now… get out there and save the world!