Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #18: improve the world (with links)

Thirteen Ways to Make the World a Better Place

1. Pick a favorite cause, something you care deeply about, and learn as much as you can, donate as much as you can, promote it as much as you can. (While I’m at it, here’s mine: Water For People) It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at all the need in the world, and sometimes this results in paralysis. If everyone picked just one thing they were passionate about and did all they could to support that cause, imagine what a difference it would make. (Charity Navigator is a great place to do some research and get ideas.)

2. Do easy things like visiting Hungersite and other click-to-give sites. You can play a game that benefits Water For People here. Hey, maybe it’s not a lot, and it's not enough, but it’s something, and if a bunch of people participate the potential is impressive. These sites also raise awareness and make it possible for anyone with an internet connection and a few minutes to make an impact.

3. Donate items you don't need anymore. Your house will become delightfully clutter-free and someone else can actually use the stuff. Sometimes I forget that what seems worthless to me might be just what someone else is looking for. The Internet is a great resource for lists of organizations and donation sites, not to mention Web sites like Freecycle or Craigslist where you can give away your stuff directly to someone who definitely wants it.

4. Improve the world with simple kindness. Smile. Be friendly. Have grace with other people.

5. Even if you don't believe in Karma, act as though you do.

6. Plant something: flowers, vegetables, a tree.

7. Volunteer at a local school, and invest in the future. Maybe you could read stories, become a mentor, or assist a teacher. It doesn’t necessarily take a major time commitment to positively impact a child’s life.

8. Take steps to save energy and conserve resources. Lists of ideas are plentiful online and in magazines.

9. Educate yourself, and vote. Learn about local and state elections as well as national ones.

10. Walk or ride a bike instead of driving. Save a little gas and prevent a little air pollution, all while getting exercise and relieving stress. It’s also a great way to appreciate the beauty that is always there but easy to miss when you are zipping by with your eyes (hopefully) on the road.

11. Speaking of which, be a courteous and safe driver. Pay attention. Don’t check your email. Avoid road rage. And for God’s sake don’t drive under the influence or while you are drowsy.

12. Consider adopting or fostering a child. This is obviously the most challenging suggestion on this list. I'm just saying, consider it.

13. Instead of simply reading this and going on with your day, choose an item that interests you, and do it. Or, leave a comment to let me know what YOU are already doing and/or planning to do to make the world a better place.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

(Leave your link in comments)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


~Just Me~ said...

Great idea. Words many should live with.

Firefly mom said...

Wonderful theme for a TT! There are so many ways for people to give a little. One of my favorite organizations is "Feeding America (formerly "America's Second Harvest").

Michelle M. said...

Great List! I just learned about Freecycle the other day. That is a really great idea.

I just did my first Thursday Thirteen today.

Meaghan said...

Great post, Ruth! In times like these, it's so easy to get too focused on ourselves and our problems. But the point is community, isn't it? We're all in this together. It would help if we all acted like it, celebrating the grace, dignity and humanity of us all.

pussreboots said...

Nice list. Happy TT.

Angela said...

Well, as you know I'm passionate about HIV awareness, and the cause of the orphan...
AHOPE for Children is the cause that gets my heart right now... since we just brought home our 2 youngest kids from there.
So... I LOVE your list. Especially the 'consider adoption/fostering' one. :)