How to make a difference in the world?
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is every wasted."
1. Be Kind
The simplest way to make a difference in the world, is to live the life of kindness. It does not demand a scheduled volunteering time; it does not require monetary donations. But seeing the best in people, forgiving those who wronged you (which is not the same as allowing others to walk all over you), and showing kindness to those close to your heart, as well as strangers, is the simplest and the most powerful way to make a change. Some people will take it for granted, but I hope, you are not practicing kindness because you expect something in return. I ask of you to be kind even if it is not noticed, or appreciated.
Consider, how many people do you know that don't judge? Don't gossip, or speak ill of others? How many people will do what they can to assist, always? And no, I don't think that volunteering twenty-five hours a week at a local shelter excuses you from being rude to someone on the road. I don't think making a donation to the church fund at Christmas makes it somehow okay to swear at your spouse, or the clerk at the office, or your neighbors. When I mean being kind to "everyone", I really do mean "everyone". It is not the same as agreeing. It is almost the same as being understanding and accepting.
My favorite quote about kindness:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
2. Give Your Time: Volunteer
You don't have to be rich in order to give, you can choose to give time. The opportunities are limitless. Kids from broken families need role models, dogs and cats at local shelters crave human contact, food pantry can use a set of extra hands to serve dinners. The walks for a cause are plenty, pick something close to your heart, and go for it! Don't promise yourself to do it in the future. Make a choice and a commitment now.
3. Donate Money
No matter how small is the amount, realize, every little bit helps, even if it's only $1.00. Consider, if 100 people agree with this theory, you can raise $100 for any worthy cause without much trouble. If you are giving a significant amount, I encourage you to do your research. Donate to those charities that are known for using their funds wisely to maximize the impact of your gift.
4. Do Random Acts of Kindness
Pay a toll for a car behind you. If you have ever been on the receiving end of such a small but sweet gesture, you know exactly how much it brightens your day. Shovel your neighbor's driveway after the storm, bring a cup of coffee for your co-worker, offer to baby-sit for one night to a single parent. Small gestures of love and kindness make the world go around.
5. Remember People in Your Life
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in big ideas, that we forget people closest to us. Our own spouses, our parents, our siblings and kids. Choose to treat your friends and family with kindness. Again, this does not mean agreeing on everything, it simply means choosing to remember love in our words and actions. Sometimes it may look like walking away from a meaningless argument, sometimes it may look like not swearing back, sometimes it may mean being a little bit more patient with each other's annoying habits.
Try and see what happens...
The success of your efforts has nothing to do with numbers. Even if just one day is brightened for one person, your efforts were well worth the extra mile you went that day. Even if the life of just one dog was saved, because you chose to adopt or foster from your local rescue, rest assured, it's made the world of difference for that one pup. The more you try, the more successful you will feel. Your life will gain a purpose, and you will find what we all search for so diligently in our lives - the secret to happiness and fulfillment.