Yes, I said it.
Stop trying to change the world.
No, it wasn’t a mistake. I meant what I said.
Stop trying to change the world.
I know. It’s perplexing. Especially when you consider that my career and calling is leading a non-profit organization focused on bringing change…in the world.
Before you write me off as ridiculous, let me explain.
I believe we all should be working for change. Change in the world for the better.
I also, however, believe we get overwhelmed with the idea of changing the world because the world is too big for any one of us change. There are too many problems, too many needs, too many disasters and too many people.
My philosophy is, stop trying to change the world and focus on the person in front of you everyday that you can help.
It may be a small thing. A simple thing.
But, doing the small things is what ultimately changes the world.
Imagine if we all focused on the small things every day that we could bring some change to. What would the world look like then?
Somaly Mam said it best. “I don’t feel like I can change the world. I don’t even try. I only want to change this small life that I see standing right in front of me, which is suffering.”
Boom! Words to truly live by. Thank you, Somaly.
This is where #GivingTuesday comes in.
We all know about the ridiculousness of Black Friday. I won’t even get started on that.
And, for the past few years, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have begun to take their place as staples in the opening weekend of the holiday shopping spree.
Recently, in the craze that is shopping for holiday’s to get more and more stuff for people who probably don’t actually need any of it, #GivingTuesday has begun to rise.
And, it’s about time.
#GivingTuesday, December 3rd, is about one thing – unifying charities, corporations, small businesses and ordinary individuals from across the world to do something extraordinary. A global day of giving, rather than getting. Balancing the shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a day of pure selflessness.
It’s a refreshing idea that we all should embrace, participate in and promote.
I’m hoping you’ll join me.
If so, here are a couple of pointers I have for you.
GIVE FINANCIALLY, EVEN IF IT’S JUST $1. #GivingTuesday is about just what it says – giving on Tuesday. Meaning, ultimately, giving money.
Every organization and cause needs money. Volunteering is important and I stress that everyone should volunteer. But, without money there won’t actually be anything to volunteer for.
Apply the same principle as above. Don’t get overwhelmed with, “I can’t give a lot of money so my $1 or $10 won’t make a difference.” That’s just simply not true. Every $1 counts and the more people giving at least that adds up to hundreds of dollars.
Even if all you can afford is $1, give it on Tuesday. Trust me, it will make a difference.
FOCUS ON LOCAL. As I said, don’t try to change the world, try to change/impact something right in front of you. In your community. Give to an organization, a cause that impacts and influences the community that you live and work in every day.
If we aren’t concerned with and can’t help our own communities we shouldn’t be trying to fix other ones around the world. We can’t ignore the people immediately around us in need and try to help people on the other side of the world. That just doesn’t make sense.
Focus on a local cause that inspires you and can be passionate about.
If you’re in the Tampa area (where I am), go here to find some great local organizations to support. It’s better than that Buzzfeed article about cats you were going to look at next anyway.
If you’re not in the Tampa area, start by using the Google machine to find organizations local to you who are participating in #GivingTuesday.
DON’T JUST GIVE MONEY, GIVE YOUR TIME. Since you’re focusing on a local cause this should be easy. And, it’s partly why I advise focusing on something local. Giving your time along with your money makes the greatest world-changing impact. The small things add up to big changes over time.
Your donation to a cause will also mean more to you personally if you take time to be a part of that cause and see with your eyes, in person, what your money went to help. If you can meet the people that your money went to help and can shake their hands and hear their stories you will be even more inspired, passionate and proud of your donation.
Giving your time insures that you didn’t waste your money and will motivate you to give more than just one day a year.
One day at a time, one dollar at a time, in our local communities.
That’s how we change the world.
So, stop trying to change the world and start doing the simple act of giving in your local community.
Start on #GivingTuesday. Tomorrow.
I dare you.