It is easy to feel like it is next to impossible to truly make a difference in our world. You want to make a difference, but with so many problems facing our world today you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where or how to start. However, sometimes making a difference doesn’t cost money or take a lot of time, it just means doing a few simple things in your everyday life. To help you out, we compiled a list of ten easy ways you can actually make a difference every day, without donating your time or money to charity.
Smile – When you smile and stay positive it can be contagious to the people around you. By sharing a smile with the people you are passing in the hallways at work or with a homeless man on the street, you can bring a little piece of joy to the world. You never know what struggles people are facing, and your smile could truly bring some happiness to someone’s day.
Do someone a favor at work – Helping someone in the workplace is an easy way to make someone feel like you care. If you have the time, help someone who is looking overwhelmed or who you know has a big deadline coming up. It could truly make a difference in their day. Also, they will remember the time you did them a favor and hopefully help you out sometime when you need it.
Be empathetic – It is easy to get caught up in our own problems and forget about what other people are going through. By actively trying to be empathetic towards others, you are making the world a kinder place. Trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they feel can be difficult sometimes, however it reminds you of the bigger picture of the world.
Consume less – Whether it is turning off some lights in your house, using less water or bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store, consume less of the world’s resources. They are precious and will run out one day.
Give everyone around you respect – Remember the universal phrase you learned in kindergarten? Treat others the way you want to be treated. By respecting each other, we are helping the world be a more peaceful and accepting place.
Slow down and acknowledge the world around you – We all lead very busy lives filled with work, family and friends; however, it is important to take a step back and look at the world around you. Take a break from work and look outside your window or go on an afternoon walk and take in the sights of your neighborhood. It is important to acknowledge how beautiful the world is and make sure it is being taken care of, because you won’t be around forever.
Raid your closet and donate your old items to charity – Chances are you have old clothes you haven’t worn in years that are simply sitting in your closet collecting dust. Well, many people could benefit tremendously from the things that you no longer use. Take a day and clean out your house and donate your old goods to a local charity or homeless shelter.
Say “Thank You” – It seems simple, but we really don’t say “thank you” to those around us enough. Whether it is to your waiter at a restaurant, the car that lets you cross the street, or the person who holds the door open for you at work, a simple “thank you” goes a long way in making people feel appreciated for their kind acts.
Give someone a compliment – Making people happy is such an easy way to make the world a better place. You can easily make someone’s day and give them some happiness by complimenting them on their outfit choice or general appearance. It seems silly, but kind words really do go a long way and often times inspire people to pass the kindness on to others once they have received it.
Listen to others – Sometimes people just need others around them to listen to them talk about their day or how they are feeling in order to feel good. You also never know who may be going through something and who you might effect by simply listening to them. Being genuinely interested in others lives and listening to what they have to say can make a big difference in the world.
By incorporating some of these actions into your everyday life, you can really make a difference in the world. Although volunteering your time and money can always be beneficial to helping others, this list goes to show that the answer to the world’s problems is not always money, but a little kindness and respect to the ones around you. So the next time you feel like making a difference, smile at a stranger in the grocery store or give your co-worker a hand in the office, it might make a bigger difference than you think.