Have you ever wished the world was a better place? If not, take a look at the news… it’ll probably change your mind.
GREAT news: the world can be better! It doesn’t take huge changes to create a difference, either. It just starts with you… and me… and all of us.
Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Assume, until proven otherwise, that most people are not coming from a malicious place.
Someone bumps into you, someone steps on your foot, the waiter screws up your order, etc – just let that stuff go.
Most people are not trying to screw you over, they are just trying to get through the day.
Adopt a positive behaviour and act like its weird when other people don’t follow along. Like picking up trash or properly disposing of your cigarette butts.
Donate blood if you’re able. It’s insane how much blood people need in an emergency or during major surgery.
You can honestly have the largest impact at the local level so… call 311 when you see dumb things the city should fix instead of ignoring it. Carry water and meal bars for homeless. Find where volunteers are needed and do that. Vote in municipal elections. Volunteer in them. Run in them.
Find a cause you understand and identify with and focus your time and attention.
When passing by neighbours or at stores, I tend to say just a regular good morning, afternoon, night… and it surprises me how many people are caught off guard when I say this.
I have to wonder if this is cultural. In the US this experience is the norm, but when I visited Australia random people wished me good morning/good evening/hello how are you’s just walking by their homes. It was almost like some stereotype of the 50’s.
In the US saying hello is taken as if you have ulterior motives, and that’s sad.
Eat less meat. Just spread it over multiple days, or just eat vegetarian for a few days a week. The meat industry is a huge source of pollution in the world. And I personally love meat, but I hate how those animals are treated in many places for their entire lives. Their deaths are sometimes just plain terrible, too. I’m looking forward to perfect lab-grown steaks.
The amount of water and resources (land, feed, oil) that goes into producing a pound of beef is obscene. Something like 2 acres of land, 440 gallons of water, a gallon of oil, and several tons of corn. For one damn steak.
Become an organ donor. It takes two minutes and you could save up to 9 lives.
My grandmother always told me “whenever you pass an old man or woman in the street, you must smile at them, you don’t know if they’ve had anyone else but you smile at them that day”
Plant flowers for bees.
Use your turn signal.
Don’t look at your phone while driving, use your signals, don’t tail gate, don’t drive under the speed limit, you are more likely to get in an accident doing that. Share the road, don’t be rude – let people into your lane, don’t crowd bikers. Use your friggen brights at night and pay attention for animals darting in front of your car. Get a dash cam… make sure your tail and brake lights work. DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR PHONE WHILE DRIVING – especially while sitting at lights. It’s not ok just because you have a red.
Self improvement should improve other’s lives, too. Always try and improve your attitude and mindset to bring joy to other people.
Whenever you speak to someone, remember that you can learn something from everyone. That way, you’ll come off as an active listener without working too hard at it, and honestly it could help you too. You’d be surprised. For example you might learn that you don’t like their body language, so you can adjust yours to become more open, just small things like that.
Quite often overlooked… just don’t be awful to people in general, treating people with respect doesn’t matter their occupation/stage of life, you have no idea how often people from cashiers to janitors are treated as servants it’s disgusting.
Act locally, and don’t stress too much about what’s happening globally. You alone may not be able to save the world, but you can become the change in someone’s world.
Support charities that are known for their efficiency. Like the ones www.givewell.org recommends donating to, Against Malaria Foundation, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, END Fund deworming etc.
Use less plastic bags. The wastage of plastic bags is absurd, people would request/be given plastic bags for something as simple as a bottle of drink.
Treat homeless people like actual human beings. Talk to them. Make eye contact with them. Maybe get them food. If you wanna tell your internet friends about it, go ahead! Just don’t take a picture with/of them without their permission or knowledge.
One of the easiest ways is to go Vegan, you can save around 100 animals a year while reducing environmental damage due to deforestation, water wastage and battle climate change.
Plant maple trees on the sides of roads. It decreases particle matter, it’s easier on asthmatic lungs, it provides shade to citizens and absorbs car exhaust. Also creates beautiful fall foliage!
Have less kids.
From the article: “By far the biggest ultimate impact is having one fewer child, which the researchers calculated equated to a reduction of 58 tonnes of CO2 for each year of a parents life.”
Be capable of tolerating others, and remember that tolerance doesn’t mean treating people with whom you agree with well, it means treating people you disagree with well. It means being able to not polarize the world and looking at it in terms of shades of grey rather than good (you) vs evil (them).
Such a massive amount of problems in this world are caused by tribal mentality.
On the same note, remember there is nobody more capable of evil then one who feels they are fighting demons and monsters. NEVER dehumanize your opposition, give them the benefit of the doubt. Righteous indignation is a dangerous drug.
Reduce, reuse and recycle in that order. Reducing the amount that you use is the best option, but if you do use something then get as much usage out of it as you can. If an object is beyond usefulness and can be recycled, then recycle rather than throwing it in the trash.
Many people think recycling is amazing but it uses lots of energy and is just better than a landfill. Recycling a disposable bottle every day is worse than buying one reusable bottle to use anytime you drink water.
Be a mentor for a kid. Most kids in these programs just want someone to take a genuine interest in them. They will be interested in doing just about whatever you do (sports, gaming, outdoor activities). The hardest part is following through with commitments. If you says you’ll be there, just be there.
Be consumer conscious. Money is power is influence. If your purchases are earning evil companies profit, then you are supporting their misdeeds. Buying from small businesses or from businesses that don’t produce strictly for profit is a great way to put your money towards a responsible source.
Something as small as changing out your teabags and replacing them with loose tea leaves make a world of difference. Unfortunately quite a lot of teabags are not biodegradable so doing this will significantly cut our carbon footprint. Same goes with disposable coffee cups, they often contain a coat of plastic and so they are actually not suitable for recycling.
Eden Reforestation Projects is my go-to. For 10$ you’ll get 4-10 trees planted. They hire local people, use the trees they plant to kickstart ecosystems and restore the local economy, and protect the forests. You get to leverage your money, make the world greener, and help underprivileged areas build their own economies. It’s awesome!
After listening to some Jordan Peterson lectures, I’ve been really taken to the “Clean your room, sort yourself out” mantra. In other words, you want to make the world a better place? Start with yourself. The “Go clean your room” comes from one of his epic rants to young people: “Listen, 18 year old…How can you fix the economy, if you can’t even keep your room clean?” – Basically, if you’re going to “Save and change the world for the better” why not start by “changing and saving” yourself.
Once you’ve got a grasp on yourself – Try helping/sorting out a family member, then delineate outwards towards your community, your town, your city…etc etc
Adopt pets from the shelter instead of buying. Puppy farms are the worst place to go.
When you say you are going to do something, follow through. Being honest and trustworthy, even if it seems insignificant or no one is watching, improves your standing with those around you, who hopefully will emulate what you do and they’ll be honest and trustworthy too.
Practice humility. You will learn to listen more and let go of strife and want. This is the path to a more introspective, educated, and peaceful society.
If you see a person in the street looking at you, smile at them. They could be having a bad day and you might be the first positive experience of the day. Maybe the only one. If even one person out of a hundred feels better due to that, it’s worth it.
Find someone who doesn’t have any friends and be their friend. To find these people, look for the ones who are sitting alone at events they have to be at.
Pay more attention to the people closest to you. Many serious personal problems, such as addictions, depression or trauma, can easily go unnoticed since the sufferer intentionally hides/suppresses them, and many people desperately need someone to talk to but are too afraid to ask. If you think they need help, don’t hesitate to step up and offer it.
Take the time to respond to forums and teach people how to solve problems you’ve figured out. For example if you look up a computer problem and see other people online are struggling with it, too, and then you find the answer, respond to the original thread and share your solution. You can help hundreds of people that way.
Another small thing is to leave reviews for items you purchase, especially if it was really good or bad. You can help people make better choices and sometimes save money!