Photo by The Wandering Angel
By Mark Foo
Many people believe that they don’t have what it takes to make a difference to the world. They believe only people like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and the likes, are capable of making a difference.
The truth is, every one of us is put in this world to contribute and make a difference to the world in our own unique way. It need not be anything out of the world. It just needs to be something you do with the intention of ‘doing good’.
The following is a guide as to how small people like us can make a difference to the world.
How To Make a Difference
1. It Need Not Be an Enormous Task
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa
You already have what it takes to make the world a better place. Making a difference to the world may seem like an enormous task, but it is in fact the collective effort of everyone to make small contributions with a lot of heart.
The size of the contribution is not what matters most. The key here is to have the heart to do it.
2. Start Now
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
There is no one best time to start to make a difference to the world. You don’t need to wait till you have the time to share some love; you don’t have to wait till you make more money to share a slice of bread. Little efforts count, and you can start making small contributions today.
3. Your Contribution is Never Too Small
“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” – Author Unknown
If you think that everything has been taken care of by somebody and your contribution is not going to make much of a difference, then you’re wrong. Can you imagine if everyone else starts to think the same way?
In fact, it is our responsibility to seek ways to contribute, large and small. You don’t have to be concerned you’re only capable of making small contributions. What counts is the effort.
4. The Greatest Gifts of All
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha
Happiness and love are the two greatest gifts you can give to the world. Too often, we’re too indulged in our own gratifications that we forget there are people in this world whom we can make a little happier and feel more loved.
As the saying goes, “To receive, you must first give.” The more you give, the more you’ll receive. Let us remind ourselves that in order to receive more happiness and love, let’s spread more of them first.
5. Empower Other People
“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.” – Dale Carnegie
You can change the world by helping one person at a time. One of the ways to help someone is to empower the person. But how do you empower a person? Well, one of the ways is to be generous in giving praise and encouragement instead of criticism.
By praising and encouraging the person, you’d have helped him/her to accomplish what he/she is meant to be, and that would lead to more value being added to the world.
6. Seek to Make a Long-Lasting Effect
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli
This is Mr Disraeli’s version of ‘give a man a fish; you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.’
The good that we seek to do will make more of a difference when there’s a long-lasting effect rather than a temporary effect. For example, if we make contributions to build a school, it will benefit many people for years to come.
And when more people receive education, they will in turn provide more value to the world.
7. Stop Whining and Do Something
“If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo
All the whining and complaining in the world is not going to make a difference to the world. It will only drain you of your precious energy from doing things that do make a difference.
Instead of whining and complaining, seek to use the time more productively by engaging in activities that matter. When it comes to making a difference, nothing matters more than taking actions.
8. Lead the Way
“A good example has twice the value of good advice.” – Author Unknown
Other than doing things to make a difference, we should also seek to influence others to start doing things that make a difference. And the best way to convince other people is to lead by example.
Start doing whatever is within your ability today. Start showing more concern and love to the people around you. Start to make monthly donations to your favourite charity. Start putting more effort in your work to increase the value output.
Every effort counts, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. Just do something, and do something good.
Do you have other suggestions on how we can make a difference to the world? Please share them in the comment section below.