So often, people think that changing the world is an incredibly impossible task. While big changes can make lasting impacts, small series of repeated actions can do the same. Here is a list of 25 small things that you can do to change the world—at least the community around you.
1. Drink fountain water.
2. Plant seeds native to your living area.
3. Adopt a shelter animal.
4. Let people grow.
Sometimes, people try so hard to be 'woke' and 'with the times,' that we legitimately forget life is a journey and we are constantly learning. If someone makes an effort to apologize and learn from past problematic behavior, especially if they have already paid for that crime, it is not the responsibility of society to shame them for the sake of making our own selves look better. That's inherently selfish behavior.
5. Be humble.
6. Buy your foods locally (if you can afford it).
7. Pay your employees a living wage.
8. Let people be in their feelings sometimes.
9. Recycle and compost, trash when appropriate.
10. Make people feel comfortable in your presence.
This means, refer to people by what they would like you to refer to them as and respect people's boundaries. Oftentimes, we like to pass off our bad behavior as a result of some other contributing factor, like alcohol or other inhibitors, but being drunk is not a good enough reason to make someone feel uncomfortable.
11. Don't be the first to violence, but do not be afraid to control violence if confronted with it.
12. Go outside.
14. Foster parent or adopt.
15. Have care packages in your car for the homeless or someone who might be in distress.
16. Understand the difference between an opinion and hate speech.
Don't let your friends off the hook because "that's just their belief." Opinions rooted in hate kill people. This is different from scientific beliefs (e.g. abortion) that differ on the definition of a word.
17. If you witness a crime or injustice, gather as much evidence as possible.
18. Give love.
19. Advocate on behalf of others, not in place of others.
Drowning someone out to hear your own voice isn't the point. if someone is being talked over or ignored, give them a platform to speak their views if you have that power. Is someone is being disadvantaged by a power structure you don't suffer from, use your privilege to deconstruct that power structure.
20. Do favors when possible.
21. Buy recyclable paper plates instead of Styrofoam.
22. Listen all the way to people's thoughts before denouncing them
22a. Ask clarifying questions with interest.
23. Talk to "the help."
24. Join 'Big Brothers Big Sisters' or "Boys and Girls Club'
After volunteering with BBBS for two summers, I learned about how low on human resources they are. Kids in that program would benefit from just one person to make them feel like what they're going through can improve the course of a life (http://www.bbbs.org/get-involved/).
25. Pay it forward.
Whatever this means to you, take the good that you have received, and give that good to someone. If you're reading this, you have at least 1 good organ that you could donate to someone in need, so be an organ donor. If that's not your speed (or against your religious beliefs) donate your time, energy, love, whatever it may be, to improving someone's life. It doesn't have to be big, but it has to be intentional.
Hopefully, in this list of 25 little yet impactful actions, you can find some way to be a game changer.