"I can change the world... with my own two hands." ~ Ben Harper
I’ve been limiting my news intake these days. Some may say it’s escapism, but an hour spent watching current events is enough to drive anyone into depression. War, global warming, domestic violence, economic turmoil, and everything in between -- it seems nothing is right in the world these days.
It’s easy to feel powerless about our sad state of affairs. There’s so much damage, where would you even start with repair attempts? I’m often wondering, “Is there anything I can do?” I don’t have to think about it for long before I feel like giving up. Changing the world is a just too big an undertaking for one person.
But, we can’t just give up! There has to be a way. So, how do you accomplish a big task? You figure out what you can control and cannot. Then, you come up with a plan that includes really small, manageable steps. Finally, you enlist the help of friends or colleagues to help you complete them.
Can this strategy be applied to make the world a better place? It can!
Here are 5 things you can start doing today to change the world:
1. Eat less meat. The environment, the animals and people benefit by reducing consumption to a few times a week. This small change improves our air, soil and water quality. It even saves our healthcare system from future collapse by dramatically lowering the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
2. Pick up trash when you see it. How many times a day do you walk by an empty cup, bag or old newspaper on the ground? Don’t assume someone else is going to take care of it. Just take a few seconds to stop, pick it up and deposit into the nearest trashcan.
3. Shower. Then, get out. People have a tendency to hang out in the shower, myself included. It’s a place to relax, reflect and make to-do lists in your mind. But just one ten-minute shower a day uses approximately thirty gallons of water. To protect our most precious resource, let’s find a new place to relax.
4. Box up restaurant leftovers. You don’t have to go far to see someone in need of food. Instead of offering them the change in your pocket, give them what they really need: a good meal.
5. Smile. It’s the most powerful tool we have to create a better world. Smiling is contagious and has a beauty that’s universal. It takes almost zero effort and produces a huge ripple effect of positivity. Get in the habit of smiling all the time, even when it’s difficult to do so. This is exactly when your smile is needed most.
These seemingly small tasks will add up to a great big change. You can start today and feel confident, that with each action, you’re making a difference. You don’t need to be a billionaire, have an office on Capitol Hill or a volunteer gig in Africa to make the world a better place. Just realize what you personally have the power to do, get excited about it and start right now!