Sunday, September 28, 2008

5 Ways to Change the World, Start Today!

All of us want to make a difference, it's part of human nature. And yet we are often stumped at how and where to start. Here's Five simple things that having worked on the inside of a non-profit organization and being inside global poverty, that you can do starting right now!

1. Write a check and/or make a monthly investment.
Research and find an organization that you trust (I personally recommend http://www.choicehumanitarian.org/, having worked on the inside I know the impact they are creating the way your dollar will be leveraged!)

Give money, today. Don't restrict it to a certain thing or project - start practicing this now - repeat after me, "Please use it wherever you have the greatest need in your organization."

And do a monthly investment! Sign up for a $20/month EFT. Notice, it is not a donation, it is an investment! Meaning that the dividends are economic, social, karmic and global.

2. Volunteer 4 hours/month
I know this obvious, but just to be clear - that is one hour/week. And often can be an hour at home or over lunch working on a project remotely.

First, find the organization you want to help with. Look for an org that is small, local (even with a global impact) and identify their key objectives.

Next, make a list of the top 5 skills you have or 5 projects you recently completed that you really enjoyed, then email these to as many people at the org as you can find, including the Executive Director and the office manager or secretary.

Here's the secret, important step - go to their office. Show up, bring a copy of your email with you and start meeting your new best friends. This is going to be painful for all involved - the hardest thing for a small, struggling non-profit is how to figure out what someone can help with, when at the very moment they volunteer, you have a thousand things to get done. Trust me, it will be worth it. If they can't think of anything - offer to organize their storage room or to answer phones for a couple hours. Every organization needs both of these!

3. Go READ a Book! (Or listen to it on CD if you are like my mother)
Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

If we don't know about the world, don't start practicing and being different, how can the world be different? Here's a few EMYP favorites, i.e. Extreme Makeover for Your Perspective:

- Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

- Despite Good Intentions by

- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

- Three Cups of Tea by Gregory Mortensen

- Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Peters


4. In the same vein, plan a trip, go TRAVEL:
Mark Twain said, "the antidote to ignorance is travel."

You don't have to go far, only far enough to get out of your familiar surroundings and comfort zone. Go to the other side of town. Cross a border. Go to a neighborhood where you are the minority and then just watch. Look for all that is interesting, funny, quirky, smart and universal.


5. Build Your Community
Start by acting and being different. Then bring your friends and family in on the game!

3 comments:

keith said...

5 ways! THIS is golden! BRAVO! I love it. I admire so much your bravery and courage! You follow your heart! not sometimes, but ALL the time. Where we are today at CHOICE is because of YOU!!!

Nicole said...

I am so inspired by your comments. I will DO something, not just PLAN to do something. :)

Anniebananie said...

Very inspiring! Hope all is well!