Serving for the good of your fellow humans does not need to be complicated; in fact, it’s incredibly easy. Regardless of your financial status, hometown, beliefs, etc, any of these activities listed below are acts you can do to make a positive difference in your community, and in turn, the world.
1) Meet your Neighbors
How simple of an act, yet one that most don’t do. Many of us have lived next to the same person for months or years without giving more than a wave or nod in their direction. So many humans around us, yet so little words and conversations exchanged.
Imagine what you could learn about your fellow brothers and sisters just by simply introducing yourself to them. You may gain a lifelong friend, or learn about their favorite spot to fish, or even get invited to the next BBQ. Now, you’ve made a meaningful connection with someone in your community.
And imagine if everyone did this? You would see more love, compassion, and understanding. Less bitterness, assumptions, and loneliness. Without a doubt, meeting your neighbors is bound to lead to a positive impact.
2) Pick up & throw away trash you pass by
How many times do you walk down the street, take a jog, or go on a stroll and come across trash? Probably almost every time. I challenge you to pick up at least one piece of waste and put it in its rightful place: a trash/recycle bin. Even better, take a trash bag with you and pick up more than one item.
If every single person did this, even just once a month, we would be living in a much cleaner environment. I don’t think there’s any argument in saying that it’s much more pleasant to go on a jog and see a trash free path rather than one with litter. A cleaner planet, and a cleaner community will result from just a simple act.
3) Stop arguing on social media
Social media is a cesspool of hot takes and extremist views (this is especially true when it comes to politics, but more on that in point 4). Everyone wants to be “right” and will do everything in their power to appear holier than thou.
You will not find reasoning and common ground here – so why are you leaving dozens of comments on some random persons profile about how you disagreed with their opinion? Do you really think a fruitful conversation will follow, or will it delve into petty insults?
If you want to debate, debate in real life where you can’t hide behind a screen and where you can see a person fully and whole. Better conversations will arise from this, not from social media comments.
4) Learn how to accept differing political opinions
This is a big one, and one we are pushing ourselves away from day by day. With the rise of social media, it has never been easier to get consumed in your own perceived bias. Being extreme and presenting yourself in a tyrannical manner is the new cool and hip thing to do. Not only is it seen as disgraceful to belong to an opposing political party from your peers; It is now also wrong, by both the left and right, to be a “centrist” (or, someone who just doesn’t align perfectly with any one side).
Since when was having your own beliefs ever a bad thing?
Since when was critical thinking and nuance that drives you away from a pre-cut political party wrong?
This needs to change if we ever want real progress in this country and world. Learn how to hold conversions with and respect for those you disagree with.
Talk with your liberal uncle.
Laugh with your conservative sister.
Spend time with your centrist cousin.
Then you’ll see how similar we all really are, how we all bleed the same color blood.
Do some good. Leave this world better than you found it.