Life around the world

Wednesday, 1 July, 2015 - 11:14

Make a difference

by RosemaryM

With over seven billion people living on our planet today, it's easy to think that one person's actions won't make a difference. However, from personal experience, I can say that that is completely untrue: each and every one of us is capable of making a difference - however small - to someone's life. 

You've probably seen the campaign posters and videos, produced by organisations such as Greenpeace or Oxfam. It's likely you'll have watched adverts on TV, encouraging you to sponsor a family in an underdeveloped country. Perhaps you've even been part of an event or a protest. Charities are always telling us to donate £1 here, or £2 there, to save children dying from malaria or elephants who are under threat from poaching. Realistically, many of us won't actually see the difference that our contribution makes.

Luckily, if you don't want to get involved in a global campaign there are many more ways that you can make a difference. Often, it's the little things that make someone's day. When you next make yourself a drink, why not ask if anyone else would like one? Or how about offering your seat to someone else on the bus? Whether or not they explicitly thank you for your deed, they will certainly appreciate it. Elderly people, especially those living alone, appreciate it when people make an effort to say hello to them and ask how they are. Sending a card to a friend who is sick should brighten their day.

If you have time to spare, why not volunteer? Lots of places can benefit from an extra pair of hands! For the last seven years or so, I have volunteered every week at my local Guide unit. This has involved running craft nights, going camping, cooking sausages and playing treasure hunts - it's great fun! Care homes, animal rescue shelters and local charity shops also rely on volunteers to help them out. 

You may not make a change so big that it will be recognised by people the world over, but it'll be appreciated by someone, somewhere, and that counts for a lot. If more of us made an effort to make a small difference, the world would surely be a better place.

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