Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Be The Change You Wish To See - One Person Can Make A Difference

I'm one of those people that refuses to believe that I can't change the world. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been taught that I can do whatever I want and be whoever I want to be. Maybe that's the reason why I'm so adamant in believing that one person is significant. I know that one person can make a difference, but it takes people working together to make a change.

There's this quote I really like by Ghandi, "Be the change you wish to see."

If you want to sit there, on your butt -- doing nothing. Fine. But don't kvetch and complain about something that you don't actually attempt to change. If you don't know what to do, or you feel overwhelmed - not knowing where to start - okay, that's understandable, but still try to do something. There are so many resources available for you. And you don't have to start big, a lot of small steps turn into big steps. There are three steps to making a difference: advocacy, philanthropy, and service.

Advocacy: Advocacy is not only about understanding the facts behind your cause, but teaching other people in a creative and fun way. Like blogging? Blog about a cause that you're passionate about! Like art? Put your cause in your artwork! There are so many ways to educate people, it doesn't have to be boring.

Philanthropy: Philanthropy is about raising money for your cause, it's about holding fundraisers to get money from people you wouldn't normally target. Have a car wash, a bake sale, host a jog-a-thon. The possibilities are endless, you just need a few friends and some creativity.

Service: Service is the blood and guts of making a difference. You can educate and raise money, but you need people to go out there and truly make an impact. Service can be anything from working at an old age home, to tutoring under privileged children, and even planting trees!

You'd be surprised to see the difference that you can make!

Still don't think you can make a difference? Read on to one of my absolute favorite short stories.

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean. 

As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water. 

The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,"I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. 

"But", said the man, "You can't possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can't possibly make a difference." The boy smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied.

"I made a huge difference to that one!" 

What are you passionate about? How do you make a difference in the world?


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