H.O.W. to Make a Positive Impact on the World
My friend Bill Holland (aka billybuc on HubPages) sent out a challenge to everyone he knows - write about the many different ways we can make the world a better place. He encouraged his friends to write HOW we can become united as people regardless of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, religion and so on. We can become united to work towards the common goal of love, compassion, peace, and harmony. It CAN happen people - we CAN stop violence against women and children, we CAN stop hunger, we CAN stamp out slave trades. We can do it together. And I tell you this, it is MUCH easier than you can ever think. We can make this world of ours a better place simply by being nice. I know it sounds so simple and rather plain when we're talking about FIXING THE WORLD but if it was so easy to be nice we wouldn’t find ourselves facing the numerous horrible news stories each and every day on television. If we all work a little harder at being nice I think we could have a huge impact on others. Heck, you don’t even have to go above and beyond and be friendly with everyone – just BE NICE!
Let me give you some examples of how difficult it can be to be nice and how easy it can be.
The Homeless Need Compassion
You walk by a street bum on your way into work every day. He sits there in smelly rags and holds out his Styrofoam cup begging for pennies. It irritates you that he sits there with his hand out, smelling like last week’s trash – he’s so close to the door that he almost trips you when you enter the building. With your nose in the air you rush through the doors to the lush lobby. The door swings open a bit too far and you hit the bum in the leg. ‘Serves him right’ you think as you head to the elevator. You don’t know the person you just abused is a war veteran suffering from PTSD and you don’t care to know. All you’re concerned with is getting inside, beyond the stench, and calling building security to chase the guy away. It was too difficult to ignore the smell and offer the poor guy a smile. It was too difficult to hand him the 13 cents left over from your daily Starbucks stop. It was too difficult to be nice. And you took it a step further – not only were you ‘not nice’ but you went out of your way to get the man evicted from the only place he felt safe. It really and truly is difficult for some people to be nice.
The Elderly Need Understanding
You’re late getting your daughter to soccer practice again. And wouldn’t you know it…you are stuck behind some old lady who wont move her ass. Can’t she read the posted speed limit is 45? Someone should take her license away. She has to be pushing 80 anyways. Yes, she’s turning, thank goodness. As the old lady turns down a side street you lay on your horn and give her the middle finger. There, that made you feel better. What you don’t see is that the old lady has pulled her car over to the curb to cry. She just spent all night at the hospital to be by her husband’s side when he passed. If you would have known that little bit of information there’s no way you would’ve been so mean. But why did you need to know that the old woman’s husband just died in order to be nice to her? Im not saying to give her a million dollars or to offer her a room in your house so she doesn’t have to live alone. But how hard would it have been for you to show a little more patience or to keep your hand off the horn and your finger out of the air?
Children Need Protection
You’re an elementary school teacher and there’s a little girl in your classroom that always shows up wearing the trendiest clothes and carrying the latest hot toy in her backpack. She is such a spoiled brat that most of the kids don’t want to spend any time with her. She is loud, bossy, demanding, and aggressive. The girl is known for her frequent outbursts and tantrums. You often see her sitting alone watching the other kids play and your first thought is “I don’t blame those other kids – she’s a terror and I wouldn’t play with her either”. Instead of trying to encourage the other kids to include Ms Hostile-Spoiled-Pants you kick back and grade some assignments. If only you had spent some time getting to know this little girl you might have found out that the only attention she gets at home is when her father sexually abuses her. She is scared and confused and hurting – it all comes out in her behavior at school, where she feels safest. This little girl has the best clothes and toys but she would trade them all for a normal life. Instead of being nice and getting to know the child you focused your attention on another, easy-going child. Just a simple smile or a word of encouragement could have been enough to get the troubled little girl to open up to you. But it was too difficult to be nice.
Just BE NICE!
The point I’m trying to make is that it doesn’t take a lot to make an impact. Everything you say or don’t say and everything you do or don’t do impacts another person’s life either for the positive or the negative. All it takes is the conscious decision to be positive towards others. Next time you pass a homeless person on the street offer him a smile. If you see a child who has behavior issues, investigate further – there may be a reason he or she is acting out. If you see an elderly person struggle with a door offer to help instead of getting impatient. Once you make the decision to be nicer to everyone you will notice how easy it is and how quickly is becomes like second nature. And guess what – you’ll feel better for it too!