Our generation has so much possibility to affect positive change. We have made technological advances, beyond anything earlier generations could have imagined and that achievement has lent us great power. It has been said that, “With great power comes great responsibility.” And nothing could be truer than when you consider our responsibility for one another.
In the developed world, we have been afforded many gifts just by being born in a certain place. We have freedoms and privileges, unlike many places on this planet. It is our responsibility to use what we are given to make the world a better place. Whether that be thousands of miles away or our next door neighbor, we should constantly strive to help others and to change our worlds.
The first and most important step to take in positively impacting your world and the lives of others is to listen to your heart. As cliche as it may sound, your heart will point you in the direction you are called. Whether you are drawn to animal rights or women’s rights, drug abuse or poverty in developing countries, if you are not strongly committed to a cause, it will be difficult to persevere. Does this mean you have to choose one avenue to go down in terms of being involved? No.
Change is a web, and we are all connected. If you work toward change in your community, it will carry over to your state, your region, your country and ultimately the world. Then, perhaps the most miraculous thing change will do is come back to the individual. If you seek to make someone else’s situation better, you will find that your situation also improves. If you believe in change for the world, change will be constant in you.
Now the basics. Getting involved takes proactively searching out opportunities. Look online, look up local organizations, read the news! Decide what your schedule will allow in terms of commitment. Factor in transportation and other domestic or educational responsibilities. Maintain a balance. The most help you can give to others is by being at your best state possible. That doesn’t mean having no emotional baggage in your own life. Often, that is your best tool. Use what you have been through to connect to others. We all have pain and joy in our lives, and we can reflect that for one another.
Get outside the box when thinking about what your community needs. Use your ever increasing sphere of influence, be it the internet or local townspeople, to make things happen. Get friends and family involved. People can donate time, or money or creative ideas. Any help is a good thing.
If you want to host a fundraiser for a specific cause, even, and especially if, it is an international issue rather than a local one, align with an official nonprofit. They will help you in a legal sense, as well as facilitate funds raised. Though, be sure the nonprofit you choose is completely transparent in their use of funds: request an annual report.
Seek the involvement of local businesses. Often, they can donate food, t-shirt printing, sound equipment or the like for an event you may want to have. Even if they won’t donate completely free, they may have discounts. The nonprofits you align with can possibly help these businesses with tax credits.
Let the local media know what you are up to. They will shine the light on your issue.
Finally, use your creative talents! If you like talking to people, talk until others get involved. If you are good at math, offer to help an effort in terms of bookkeeping. If you are good at art, lend your services to an awareness campaign. If you make videos, document an issue. If you take pictures, snap away. If you write, don’t put the pen down until things improve. Blogging and setting up web sites is also a smart way to reach the world with your message.
No matter what you do, do what you love, and use the gifts you were given. That is how you change the world.