Home Lifestyle 8 Ways To Make A Difference In The World

8 Ways To Make A Difference In The World

by InvisiblyMe

As one person in a sea of billions, we as individuals can start to feel small and inconsequential. When decisions are made by the government and other higher ups that are out of touch, we can feel helpless. Many people live with regret, but the most painful regrets are often for those things not done in life. If you want to make a difference in the world, just remember that it doesn’t need to be a grand gesture worthy of a Nobel Peace prize. You don’t have to save lives or develop a new transformational technology or end hunger. All of the small actions add up. 

Make A Difference Your Way

There may be times where the feeling of not contributing in a broader sense or of not having meaning in your life can be incredibly detrimental to our mental health. When my physical health went properly down the metaphorical toilet in 2015 after my first surgery, I lost my job and friends and everything else I had in my life, along with my future. It left me feeling useless, hollow and worthless, and I know I won’t be alone with that.

The thing is, I imagine many people will find that they do make a difference every day without even realising it. This post is, hopefully, to make you think about how you may already be doing something wonderful. It’s also to give those who want to do more an idea of the options available for short and long term effects. Helping the world in some way can help us at the same time.

But you needn’t make grand gestures or change the world in order to make a difference within it. Just touching one life by bringing a smile to someone’s face is making a difference. Doing what you can to raise awareness, affect social change, to be a good listener, to help the planet… There are so many ways to leave a beautiful mark on the world.

If you want to leave a beautiful mark on the world, here are some suggestions.

1. Small Acts Of Kindness

Spreading a smile and sharing the joy can brighten someone else’s day, and such acts can have a lingering effect on both the giver and the receiver. 

It can be a kindness to anyone and of any kind. It could be kindness to a friend, relative or partner, like offering them a helping hand or giving a thoughtful “saw this and thought of you” gift. It could be kindness to a stranger, lending a hand with heavy shopping bags, letting out a car at a busy junction, or simply saying hello to those you see on the street. It could be donating to charity, offering food to a rough sleeper, checking in on a vulnerable neighbour. 

If you have the money to spare, you might consider things like leaving a surprise gift for someone who needs it, or offering to pay for someone’s coffee to brighten their day. But kindness can be totally free, so there are plenty of gestures that won’t cost a penny. 

There are many small acts of kindness that can all put a smile on someone’s face. 

A photo of a hand holding a bunch of yellow flowers. Overlaid is a quote by Aesop that reads: "no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted".

2. Petition & Protest For Your Passions (Peacefully!) 

Protesting doesn’t have to be about holding placards in a group of thousands marching through Times Square. And protesting certainly doesn’t have to lead to criminal damage, road closures and the frustration of those in the vicinity.

Peaceful protests in person can speak volumes but so can protesting at a distance. The online realm is a powerful platform from which to raise awareness and fight for a cause. If you’re passionate about protecting the planet, you can promote recycling on social media. If you’re fired up about a poignant healthcare issue, you can shout from the rooftops on Twitter, connect with other patients, message the healthcare providers and spark a conversation.

There are various issues being protested currently, but it doesn’t have to be a worldwide or national government issue you wish to fight for or againt. There could be local initiatives on issues that affect your community, like protesting against the closure of a local hospital or cutbacks to social services.

Don’t underestimate the sway of online petitions, either. With enough signatures, petitions can be picked up by mainstream media or debated in parliament. With enough angry and passionate signees, a petition can spread quicker than ticks in a cattery. Each signature counts and the power of the people, made up of individuals like you and me, can raise awareness and instigate meaningful change. 

3. Recycle & Respect Nature

Doing your bit to protect, preserve and nurture the planet is a humbling experience. Small lifestyle adjustments develop into habits over time, and you’ll be putting your beliefs into action and actually doing something useful for the cause. Recycle what you can, turn off lights and electricals that aren’t in use, wash fabrics at lower temperatures, reuse and upcycle, walk instead of drive for some journeys, invest in energy efficient appliances and lightbulbs, go with a green energy provider, buy second hand. 

Some changes come at a greater cost and such things aren’t going to be options for everyone. If you’ve got the money, you could make bigger pledges like with solar panels or an electric car. If not, the small things add up and we can only do what we reasonably can manage and afford. 

Small efforts here and there will make your lifestyle a little greener, which is great for the planet and it’ll make you feel good inside, too. 

A photo of the hands of a woman, open as if to hold something, against a light white to green background. Above her hands is a computer image of the globe, leaves forming arrows to suggest recycling, and some digital butterflies around it.

4. Work Or Volunteer For Meaningful Initiatives 

Some people have the ability to work somewhere they love while also paying the bills. For others, work is just work to earn money without being overly meaningful or fulfilling. 

If you’re in the position to do so, you could consider your next job move so that it aligns with your morals and makes a difference in a way that’s meaningful to you. If it’s not possible or you don’t work, volunteering in a great option to allow you to spend more time on things that you feel good about. There are various online and offline roles, full and part time with flexibility, to consider. Whether you have children, other commitments or chronic illness, there could just be something in a voluntary capacity to suit your abilities and lifestyle.

You don’t have to apply as the next Superman or his secretary to help save the world, you just want something that helps you to give back or to do something that’s meaningful to you. It could be volunteering in a charity shop, food shelter, nursery, litter picking or as an advocate in support services. Career paths may take you to working for a charity, a company that manufactures goods that genuinely help people, as a solicitor fighting for the little guys, in the health service, the police or fire department, or as a teacher. 

There are plenty of jobs and volunteer roles that make a positive difference, whether you’re on the front line, working behind the scenes, or in an admin capacity. Every person’s contribution is valuable.

5. Give To Charity

If you can afford to donate, whether it’s pennies in a collection tub or bigger bucks via direct deposit, charities will be grateful. Make sure you do your research and choose a charity that’s aligned to your beliefs and values, and ensure it directs the majority of the cash to where it’s needed, ie. not to the SEO’s wallet! You can get further information on charities & check how charities use their money online.

Donating clothes, furniture, books and bric-a-brac to charity shops is doing a two-in-one good deed by raising money for good causes and recycling. If you’re looking for new clothes, furniture or homewares, take a mooch in a thrift store to get some purse-friendly unique finds that’ll keep the cycle of goodness going. 

There may also be local centres, shelters, healthcare providers and homes that welcome donations, like residential homes, care homes for the elderly, rehabilitation units and so on.

Think of the current events in the world. From poverty and health crises, to war. What could you do to help? Products, money or time all count, because you can only give what you’re able to. There should be no judgement for not being able to do such things as there are other ways you can make a difference, as this post hopefully shows.

6. Raise Money 

Take an active role by raising money for a cause or initiative that’s important to you. You could choose a big charity drive, like Red Nose Day or the Race For Life, where you’ll have a bit more support along the way. Or you could pick the charity of your choosing and decide to raise money without a pre-set event, which you could do online or offline.

There are plenty of causes and places that need financial donations for whatever reason, not just mainstream national or international charities. GoFundMe often features individuals in need. There could be community issues that need support, or a local hospital in need of money for a new MRI scanner. Smaller, local issues can be hugely helped with your support, and you’ll likely see the result of your hard work in a tangible way that you may not with a larger charity. 

Take a look online for ideas on all sorts of activities you could do, whatever your budget and abilities. While you’re raising cash, you can simultaneously raise awareness for the cause. Fund-raising websites and social media make spreading the world and taking donations much more convenient.

7. Listen 

Active listening without judgement is a skill that not everyone possesses. To truly listen to someone else and care about what they’re going through is a valuable thing you can do for another person. When someone talks about their chronic illness, their home life, their concerns and worries, relationship problems or anything else, they’re showing faith in you. Listen, show that you care, acknowledge and appreciate that other person. It could make all the difference in ways you may never know. 

You can be there for those people close to you in your life, like friends and family. Listening makes a difference in day to day discussions, too, not just the deep and meaningful conversations or at times of crisis. 

A photo of two women sat on the sofa talking. They're smiling and look like close friends or relations. In the background is the kitchen with a man and two children at the breakfast table.

You might want to lend an ear to work colleagues or acquaintances. If you have the time to donate your skill and compassion on a wider scale, charities like Samaritans are always looking for more volunteers.

Mental health should not be underestimated, nor should showing a little kindness and compassion to others when they’re in need. It may not seem like much, but being there just to listen could change or even save a life when someone is struggling. 

8. Let Go Of Bitterness

The general negativity in the world and the negative experiences we may have in life have a way of discolouring our perspective. We start to see things with an edge of cynicism, resentment and bitterness. If you’re encased in bitterness, your goodness will struggle to shine through and the good in the world might likewise struggle to make its way through to you. That may sound like a slice of cheddar, but this cheesiness is often true. 

It’s easier said than done, but working on letting go of some of the hurt, taking time out when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and filling your life with a little more light can help keep you open to hope and to the beauty in the world. You’ll find you’re more able to give to others around you, and to do so without expectation or burnout. 

A black scroll divider.

How do you want to be making a difference to the world?

Caz  ♥

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36 comments

Despite Pain March 17, 2022 - 4:18 pm

“You don’t have to apply as the next Superman or his secretary to help save the world.” Oh how true this is. I think we hear about those huge acts of generosity sometimes and think that we can’t possibly match them. But we don’t have to. In reality, small acts are probably even more important.
I always notice that when there are big events taking place in the world than need charitable donations, we hear about the rich and famous donating large amounts of money. Sometimes it’s their ego that’s doing the donating rather than their heart. The money is needed and the charities are grateful but that money is no more important that the £5 donation from the pensioner who is struggling to heat her home.
The small thinga can change the world. If we all did what we’re able to do, we might make a difference. A small act of kindness, a simple smile, can change someone’s day. If we change their day, they might do the same for someone else.
We don’t need to aim for the impossible because small things matter.
This is a beautiful post, Caz. I love it.

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InvisiblyMe March 26, 2022 - 11:22 pm

“Sometimes it’s their ego that’s doing the donating rather than their heart” – well said and I’m afraid you’re right. And absolutely brilliantly said about how the monetary donation is just as valuable even if it’s a much smaller amount because that’s all someone can afford. The gesture of kindness counts, too, and of course there are always other ways, free ways, to make a difference. I’m so glad you like the post, Liz. I think we’re on the same page with this topic because those small things matter greatly and can change the world for the better ????????????????

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Blogging_with_Bojana March 17, 2022 - 4:46 pm

Small steps go a long way. (Can’t agree more)

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InvisiblyMe March 26, 2022 - 11:23 pm

Absolutely, B ????

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Ashley L. Peterson March 17, 2022 - 5:29 pm

Fantastic ideas for all of us to take action. All the little things add up.

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InvisiblyMe March 26, 2022 - 11:24 pm

They certainly do & I like how empowering it can be to think about the smallest of ways we can help or make a difference ????

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Stace March 17, 2022 - 5:35 pm

Love the focus that you can still make the world a better place doing small everyday things!! SO true!!

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InvisiblyMe March 27, 2022 - 11:18 am

Absolutely – the smallest of things count and it all adds up ???? x

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Animalcouriers March 17, 2022 - 6:07 pm

All things we should aspire to.

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InvisiblyMe March 27, 2022 - 11:19 am

I agree. Hope you have a great week ahead ???? xx

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barmac5 March 17, 2022 - 6:40 pm

Brilliant post Caz. I put on my years list of what I want to do that I wanted to make handmade cards for a childrens charity and I just havent got around to it. You have just given me the push, Thanks xxx

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Sandee March 17, 2022 - 7:10 pm

What a wonderful list, Caz. If we all heeded these words the world would be a far kinder place.

Have a fabulous day and rest of the week. Big hug, my friend. ♥

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Warbo March 17, 2022 - 7:10 pm

Beautiful post Caz. It’s so true that when diagnosed with illness and perhaps being unable to work, that we can easily feel that we have no value in society but yes, there are so many small yet valuable ways to make a difference. I’ve been volunteering with the elderly and housebound for several years now and have been moved to tears on occasion as the people I speak to have been so grateful just to have some form of contact with another human being. It’s such a small thing for me to do but it gives me a real sense of fulfilment too and I think I get as much out of it as they do.
Thanks for such a wonderful, inspirational post
Sarah xx

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Carolyn Page March 17, 2022 - 8:08 pm

Great advice, Caz.
Loving number seven, especially. We rarely know how listening to others affects them. They can, generally, go about their day with higher spirits, and the capacity to handle life a little better. They don’t always give obvious thanks and yet both parties gain something from that interaction, which can bring their connection even closer! Sometimes the evidence can be seen at a future date!
I’m so pleased you made ‘kindness’ number one. Active listening certainly belongs in there!
xoxoxo

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Blanca March 17, 2022 - 8:38 pm

Hi Caz! Excellent tips to make the world around us a better place. Thank you so much for sharing!

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msgracefulnot March 17, 2022 - 10:25 pm

I don’t know if I have ever told you the reason I admire you so much, so let me tell you now. I think that part of what makes you an incredible person is that no matter what you are going through in your personal life, you are always doing small acts of kindness… listen to someone vent, sharing ways to make things easier, leaving a “you’re not alone” comment. Much love, respect and admiration young lady!

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Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet March 18, 2022 - 1:03 am

Wonderful suggestions, Caz! Everyone should be able to find a few good deeds that they can do. <3 preserving the environment, making others happy, helping those in need, supporting worthy causes…good for the happiness and feelings of usefulness of those who do good deeds!

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annieasksyou March 18, 2022 - 1:13 am

You’ll probably never know how much good and kindness you’ve released with this single post, dear Caz, I’m willing to bet the number would astonish you.

Annie xxx

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Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) March 18, 2022 - 11:12 am

Oh Caz! This is such a wonderful post and exactly what we need in this messed-up world we are living in. Imagine how much better things would be if every person on the planet embraced this message and did just one or two of these things. Thanks for being a beacon of light!

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Kymber Hawke March 18, 2022 - 2:14 pm

This is a beautiful article, Caz. Thank you so much for sharing these ideas with us. If everyone did these things, it would be a much different world.

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Ann Coleman March 18, 2022 - 7:27 pm

Those are all excellent suggestions! I especially like that you emphasized peaceful protests, and not shutting down roads, etc. Honestly, when I see protestors being violent or blocking main roads (so dangerous for everyone), it makes me resentful, and far less likely to support their cause. It actually feels like extortion, in a way.

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Masha March 18, 2022 - 8:20 pm

We don’t realize how every little act of kindness, every positive thought we have, or something as simple as saying thank you to someone affects that person and affects our environment. Respecting nature, “small lifestyle adjustments develop into habits over time” I love this, so true. You’re so right we each can make a difference. Beautiful post Caz.

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Cynthia, My Inspired Fibro Life March 19, 2022 - 2:10 pm

What a beautiful post, Caz! I believe in and love that Aesop quote. And also Mother Teresa’s, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” The power of a smile or simple acts of kindness go a long way. I wish more people in the world embraced those beliefs. ????

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The Oceanside Animals March 19, 2022 - 7:45 pm

Charlee: “I try to do some of that! I do small acts of kindness by sitting in Dada’s lap sometimes and making muffins, I listen to Dada when he babbles at me, I respect nature by not eating birds because I’m not allowed to go outside …”
Chaplin: “That’s all really good of you, Char—”

(Charlee whaps Chaplin and knocks him off the table)

Charlee: “I’m having a little trouble letting go of bitterness over Chaplin jumping on me and biting me and stuff though.”

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James Viscosi March 19, 2022 - 8:17 pm

We do make an effort around here to recycle as much as possible (even K-Cups, which everyone thinks we’re crazy for bothering to recycle those), avoid wasting food (I make recipes specifically to use up what’s getting old in the fridge), buying refurbished electronics, etc. It probably doesn’t add up to much but every little bit right?

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hintsoflife March 19, 2022 - 10:04 pm

An article worth tweeting. Small steps can make a huge difference in life. Great article; thanks for sharing!

And thank you for stopping by and liking my blog posts. 🙂

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Terry Mayfield March 22, 2022 - 4:56 am

What a great post, Caz! Insightful and a wonderful reminder.????????????

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Caroline March 23, 2022 - 1:46 pm

I love this post so much, acts of kindness & donating to charity are my favourite things x

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Lauren March 23, 2022 - 9:00 pm

This is such a lovely post. With everything horrible that is happening in the world, we all need a little positivity and kindness. Thank you for sharing.

Lauren

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forresting365 March 23, 2022 - 10:25 pm

Hey beautiful Caz!!! Thank You for this lovely post. There are so many great suggestions and reminders here. And I have to say…..You are so full of Grace and helpfulness that for some reason I thought You’d spent far more years being physically compromised/challenged/ill. My jaw dropped when I read Your “health went properly down the metaphorical toilet in 2015…” I’m astounded that You, only 7 years later, are so graceful, helpful, poised and HERE to help others. You gift me every time I walk into Your room here. Thank You for being You OUTLOUD!!! You, yourself, are a gift!!! Huge hugs, more respect than I can word and so much Love to You! Rock on!!! ????❤️????

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jo (arosetintedworld) March 25, 2022 - 4:14 pm

Some beautiful ideas here Caz. Sometimes the smallest acts can make the biggest impact.

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Lucy March 26, 2022 - 11:13 am

What a fantastic post Caz, thank you for sharing it. Chronic illness and others around you can make you feel like you’re of less worth and value. It’s great to be reminded that we can still make a difference and have a positive impact on others and the world. It’s so true what you said, small acts of kindness can make such a difference. A simple smile, saying hello or phoning someone don’t cost anything yet can mean the world to someone and transform their day. I love how you mention about doing things to help the planet. Sustainable living is something I’ve become really interested in and passionate about the last few months. Every little change I’ve made to be more green does make you feel better. Thanks again for putting this post together, it’s a real encouragement and a great reminder to never underestimate the power of the small things we do.

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CristinaR March 28, 2022 - 5:39 pm

What a great post! The smallest act can have such a huge impact in every day life! I really like petitioning peacefully and listening, it’s something we tend to forget nowadays!

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Stuart Danker April 6, 2022 - 12:10 am

This is a great thing to do, as it takes my mind off myself, and allows me to forget things like anxiety for a bit. Thanks for sharing!

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da-AL April 13, 2022 - 12:22 am

beautiful! listen is a big one that’s too easy to forget…

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D. Wallace Peach May 3, 2022 - 4:49 pm

Wonderful ideas and easy to implement. Thanks for the uplifting post!

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