6 Small Ways You Can Change The World In 2017
As we enter week three of 2017, many of our minds are dead set on accomplishing all of the personal resolutions we set out for on January 1st. Maybe you're trying to be healthier, or perhaps you're hoping to gain more organizational skills. Personal resolutions can be super beneficial for your mental health, physical health, and can improve your life for the better overall. However, some of us made it our personal mission to create a positive impact on the world this year. For a lot of us, 2016 was an emotional roller coaster. We saw way too much hatred, and we saw a ton of unthinkable news headlines. But we must not forget, we've also seen a whole lot of togetherness. As a whole, our generation stood up for everything we believe in throughout 2016. Our biggest hope for 2017 is to see more togetherness, happiness, confidence, and love. If you're someone who would like to join us in our mission to change the world in 2017, here are just a few small places where we can all start.
1. Donate to charity.
There are so many ways in which we can give back to the people around the world who are less fortunate then we are. When you hear the phrase 'donate to charity' you probably automatically think about pinching your pennies and giving a lump sum of money to a foundation you truly believe in. Don't get me wrong, if your finances are stable enough that you can afford that, then please do!
Since finances can be tight and rents need to be paid, there are alternative methods for giving to a cause you feel connected to without breaking the bank, such as:
Donating old clothing to Goodwill or a local shelter.
Purchasing & donating feminine/hygiene products to a woman's shelter.
Donating money or food to homeless people you see in passing.
2. Show gratitude.
So many times throughout our individual lives we forget to show gratitude for the things that we've been blessed with. Think of it this way: if you're creating happiness for yourself, and I'm creating happiness for myself, and if each of our friends acquires the same mentality; we're all creating positive vibes.
So frequently in our lives we take for granted how much a simple please, thank you, or you're welcome mean to the people we encounter in our daily lives. If you're at a restaurant, thank your waitress/waiter for serving you. If you'd like someone to pass you an item, ask them if they could "please pass" said item. It's the small gestures that we just bypass every single day that could really help brighten someone else's day.
It's so important for us to realize the times in our lives where we feel particularly happy. Take note when the people around us are nothing but wonderful or when you have an abundance of things to be thankful for. Similarly, it is just as important for us to realize when things aren't the best. When you're going through a rough patch in your life, take time to think about all the different things you have to be thankful for. Focus on the good in your life–not the tough moments.
Ultimately, if you are living a happier life, you're spreading contagious smiles and positive attitudes, which will only make the world a happier place.
3. Forgive & move forward.
At one point or another each one of us has been seriously hurt by someone in our lives. Maybe you were burned by a boyfriend/girlfriend, close friend, family member, or complete stranger. Any way you spin it, being hurt totally sucks. After we've been hurt we automatically go into defense mode. We cut the person that wronged us out of our lives, and yet we continue to hold a grudge in order to prevent being hurt again.
One of our many wishes in 2017 is that our community will find the strength to open our hearts up to forgiveness–to be able to forgive and let go of negative energy.
We also realize that some circumstances, though they can be shown forgiveness, should not be shown reconciliation. If your relationship was holding you back or was abusive in any capacity, please realize that you can show forgiveness without rekindling a relationship that brought you negativity.
This year, try to is let go of the event(s) and people you've been harping on and feeling hurt over. Note that we all make mistakes, and recognize that the situation does not deserve the time and attention you're giving it. Take a deep breath, let it go, and start living your life again. The world could use a happier, more positive you in 2017, and this is a good place to start.
4. Voice your opinions to your house representative.
With political headlines swamping our timelines, news-feeds and home pages; we saw our fair share of controversial news throughout 2016. Some of these headlines were victories for the United States, but many were heartbreaking and sometimes unthinkable. Whatever your political stance may be, write to your local government and share your thoughts.
The purpose of a house representative is to enforce the people's voices and wishes for our country. If you don't like the way that something is being proposed, speak out against it to your house representative. If you'd like to find out who you should contact so your opinions can be heard, click here.
The government only effectively works when they have strong voices–such as your own–fully involved and speaking with representatives about the things that you believe this country should be doing. In order to see changes in our political world, the first step is recognizing what changes are necessary.
If you have free time in 2017, try to pencil in some time to volunteer. There are countless opportunities for you to volunteer, regardless of where you may live. Here's some ideas:
Volunteer at your local soup kitchen.
Volunteer to take calls at a crisis hotline.
Volunteer at a free childcare center.
Volunteer as a peer mentor.
Volunteer as a tutor.
Volunteer at a local hospital.
6. Love yourself.
Practice self-love throughout 2017. It is extremely important that you work hard at everything you do, but you must always remember that if things don't go your way, don't be too hard on yourself. Take time to relax and recuperate after a long week. Let go of the things that are bringing you negativity. If you allow your health (both mental and physical) to slip through the cracks, you'll be unable to effectively help someone else. When our minds are cluttered with negativity and hate, our judgement and opinions are foggy. Take the time to care for yourself in 2017; your mind, body, and spirit.