10 Ways You Can Change The World

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'Earth - Global Elevation Model with Satellite Imagery (Version 2)' photo (c) 2012, Kevin Gill - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/I write on here a lot about things that the average person can do in order to make a change in their lives and in the world around them.  It’s pretty simple, really.  It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s simple.  And it takes a conscious effort.  But here are 10 ways I’ve found that can make a huge difference:

1.  Be kind.  There is no excuse for not being kind.  I don’t care if you don’t agree with someone.  You can disagree and still be kind.

2.  Forgive.  People do stupid things all the time.  We say stupid things.  We make horrible decisions.  And I know sometimes the actions of other people have impact on our lives in a negative way.  The ONLY way to truly overcome the hurt?  Forgive.  I promise.

3.  Realize that just because someone doesn’t think like you, it doesn’t mean they’re bad or wrong.  It just means that they don’t think like you.  And any amount of argument probably isn’t going to change that.

4.  Agree to disagree.  I have friends who live on completely opposite sides of certain arguments.  AND THEY’RE STILL MY FRIENDS.  I know.  It’s ridiculous.  But as I mentioned in a couple above, we’re not always going to agree with people, but if we treat them with kindness, that will be the basis of our friendship instead of the wedge that the argument puts between us.

5.  Be a person of integrity.  Integrity is defined as: the state of being whole and undivided.  Whatever you stand for, stand for it wholly.

6.  Hate social injustice.  Stand up for something.  There is more slavery in the world today than ever before.  Racism is rampant.  Hate crimes still exist.  There is always something you can stand up for.

7.  Connect.  The thing that most people in the world crave is connection.  Connection to another living and breathing human being.  Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, you still crave connection.  Go seek it.  Seek deep and meaningful relationships.  And sometimes that means having hard or uncomfortable conversations.  Do it.  Connect.

8.  Be willing to help.  If someone is in need, help them fill that need.  If someone is hurting, be willing to listen.  The effectiveness of your ministry is directly proportional to your willingness to be interrupted. – Christine Caine.  Do something out of your schedule and unexpected.

9.  Be willing to admit that you just don’t know.  There is no “my way or the highway” mentality in changing the world.  There is in politics.  That is why politicians aren’t changing the world.  Be willing to be okay with not understanding everything.  We water everything down by trying to understand it.  One of the most beautiful things about this life is the mystery to it all.  It’s also one of the hardest, but if you accept that sometimes the answer is just, “I don’t know,” then your life will never be the same.

10.  Shut your mouth.  Sometimes you don’t need to say anything.  People are going to remember what you did more than what you said.  I was listening to a podcast this week, and Andy Stanley said something that hit home.  And I’m going to paraphrase, but essentially he said that a lot of people have a lot to say about things that they’re never going to do anything about.  You can make a lot of money taking one side or another and talking about it, but never doing anything.  Why would you choose to make a point when you can keep your mouth shut and make a difference?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but all of the things I’ve mentioned don’t have anything to do about starting a new nonprofit or business or anything like that.  They’re about getting to know people where they are and meeting their needs right there.  Use what you have, where you are and start now.

And that’s how you can change the world.

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  • Amy Book

    I love them all. my #11 — learn to laugh at yourself. Life is funny and laughter really is good like medicine. Just try to be mad/sad/hurt and laugh at the same time. And then try not to laugh when someone else is laughing. The only other thing that laughter is ice cream. So let’s just laugh and eat ice cream as we conquer the hate and injustice in this world 🙂

    • You’re so right. Laughing and ice cream I think are key.