Jewish Journal

Simple Ways to Make the World a Better Place

by Henry Lane

June 30, 2014 | 1:03 pm

Image via Shutterstock.com

We would all like to live in a better world but what do we do about it on a daily basis? The truth is that most of us are so caught up in our daily lives and our routine to make the effort that that we think this requires.

Having said that, once you think about it for a second you will see that making the planet a better place to live isn’t as difficult as you might have thought.

Be Kind to People You Meet

How hard would it be to smile more at strangers, offer to help someone you see carrying a heavy bag or find some other way of brightening up someone’s day? The Pay it Forward movie from a few years might have seemed a bit corny to some viewers but the idea behind it was inspired. In fact, it is easy to get involved in paying it forward and making a little act of kindness. This will help you feel better about yourself, will improve someone’s day and might encourage both of you to produce more acts of kindness in the future as well.

Donate to Charity

Donating to charity takes no time at all these days and allows you to make a difference to the lives of other people. Even better than this, you can help others contribute to a good cause as well. This can be done by simply getting charity collection buckets and leaving them in your place of work or wherever you think that people will put some coins into them. An alternative idea is to loan a small amount of money to someone in a developing country who needs it to start a business, build a home or whatever else. This can be done easily online and will help someone’s dreams come true without causing you any financial difficulties at all.

Offer to Help Elderly Neighbors

If you want to start off closer to home then what about helping out your elderly neighbors with jobs around their house? Mowing someone’s lawn, painting their fence or buying in their groceries can make their life a lot easier if they can’t get around much anymore. You might also have some older neighbors who live alone and are terribly lonely. How great would you both feel if you were to go round occasionally and keep them company? Don’t forget that this isn’t a painful act of self sacrifice on your behalf. Instead, it can turn out to be great fun. A lot of older folk has some wonderful stories to tell and can teach us a lot about the world. It could turn out that you get even more from the experience than they do.  

Become a Volunteer

Becoming a volunteer isn’t the easiest way to make the world a better place but it can be one of the most satisfying. There are a huge number of ways of doing this, so you should take some time and find the one that suits you. For instance, you could work a few hours in your local charity shop or fundraising centre. You could also look at travelling further afield in order to make an impact. Some of the most interesting and worthwhile volunteer jobs are to be found in the world’s poorest countries. Here, you could work in an orphanage, teach English to underprivileged kids or help locals build homes or start businesses. You will learn a lot from any of these experiences and will help spread the feel good factor far and wide. Of course, when you do something as exciting as this you are sure to tell lots of others about it and might just end up encouraging someone else to do the same thing in the future.  

Look After the Planet

As well as helping other people in any one of the previous ways, what about helping the planet as well? This is something that sounds too big and too difficult to do at first. After all, the planet is a big place and home to over 7 billion human beings. How can one person be expected to make any sort of noticeable difference? The truth is that for the planet to be well looked after we all need to do our little bit. This can be done in many different ways, from walking instead of driving to planting vegetables in your yard to using less electricity. There is no shortage of ideas for reducing your impact on the environment, so it is just a question of choosing the ones that appeal to you. Many of these are such small and simple changes to your lifestyle that you might want to consider the idea of doing them one at a time and slowly but surely helping look after the planet we live on a bit more. 

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