What if instead of ‘lose 10 pounds’ and ‘clean the house more often’ we decided to make a promise on New Year’s eve that would have a global impact than a personal one? It’s time we commit to doing our part in making this world a better place and to be honest, it might be easier than losing 10 pounds.
Here are 5 easy ways you can become a changemaker or perhaps a junior activist (stay with me):
1. Shop like you care. Although I think it would have a greater impact for us to shop less in general, it’s easier to convince people to shop better. There are stores unlike Wal Mart that care about the people that work for them. They don’t use slave labour and some of them even conserve our planet. True story. Here’s a short list.
2. Give a little. If you have some spare money, donate. If you don’t, you can give your time or your talent. It’s all valuable. Sign that Amnesty or Change.org petition because it does make a difference and it only takes a few minutes. Attend a film festival hosted by human rights organizations. Volunteer with a charity or at work and run a food, clothing or toy drive not just during the holidays but anytime of the year.
3. Like, retweet, share. Social media is a great way to raise awareness and even if you aren’t the one posting the information, you can be the one who engages with it. Education is the answer to so many of the issues that plague our world. If your like or retweet can help spread the word about human trafficking or help find a missing boy or girl in your local city, isn’t it worth the time to engage?
4. Call out ignorance. I get it, you don’t have time or money to give but you want to be a good person. Your values are noble but life’s getting in the way of making a difference. The next time you’re sitting around the table for dinner and drinks with a few friends and someone says something sexist, racist, homophobic or generally offensive, call them out. I’m not saying stop having a sense of humour but there’s a difference between a joke and someone spreading hate.
5. Travel. Sometimes you need to see it to believe it. Whether you’re traveling to a local food bank to see how many families in your neighbourhood don’t have enough to eat or to an impoverished country where most people live under the poverty line, get out there and soak it in. Context and connection to the cause are vital for us to feel compelled to help. Travel the world and see how people live, listen to their stories and you’ll be inspired to do your part.
Just to be clear, you don’t have to do all five. Pick one and stick to it or do them all as the opportunities present themselves. Try. That’s all I’m asking.
Now it’s time to eat, drink and be merry. Happy holidays!