I think we all know that we make differences in people’s lives and in our world but Make a Difference Day is a day to think about what else we might add into our lives to make a difference on this planet.
Make a Difference Day was created by “USA Weekend” magazine in 1992 to offer community support and encourage volunteerism across the country. This year the official day is October 28.
The idea behind Make a Difference Day is to remind us that each and every one of us can make a difference in our world. As we read or listen to the news, we become overwhelmed. We feel like the world is falling apart and that there is really very little we can do about it.
Nelson Mandela said it well, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in our hands to make a difference.”
Let’s think about some ways that we can and do make a difference in our world.
To make a difference in the lives of others we want to start by making a difference within ourselves. One easy thing to do is to smile more. If any of you have ever performed, given a presentation, or even held a Zoom meeting you know that you put on that smile before you begin. What would it feel like if you just set reminders to smile for no real reason? How would that affect how you would feel? I am sure it would boost your positive attitude.
We all know that good health is important in our lives. We know that what we eat, how much we sleep, and how often we exercise are major keys to good health. Take a look at what you do daily and see if there is one area where you could make an improvement. It’s hard to help others if you are not feeling well yourself.
To make a difference in yourself try something new that is out of your comfort zone. Psychology Today has a new study on how to try this. You may become invigorated and more productive.
Your home should be your refuge. If you do not feel happy and relaxed in your home do something to make a difference in your environment. Even making small changes can make a difference. Too much clutter can affect your health according to Barbara Brody, a writer for WebMD. A more organized environment can allow you to be more caring to others. And mess equals stress which can affect your health.
Your community is an extension of your home. As you move out of your home into your community on a daily or weekly basis, practice doing some random acts of kindness. According to a New York Times article, there is new research that shows that small gestures matter more than we may think.
Schedule time to volunteer at local charities. AARP has links to make this easier for you if you don’t have one that you already subscribe to. Churches also have outreach programs to help in the communities. You can work with a group of people you know to make a difference. Or make a difference in your community environmentally by making some changes in your lifestyle.
Some simple ways to make a difference in our world are to take care of our environment. Buy less, waste less, recycle responsibly for a start. All of these acts make a difference both nationally and internationally.
Stay current on national and international news and vote according to what you have found with your research. Choose who you get your news from thoughtfully. Then vote and support those that are making a good difference in our world.
Get involved with organizations that help refugees in your area.
When you read about the tragedies in the world – to people, to animals, and in our environment, research organizations that are the helpers. Mr. Rodgers said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” In my family, my brother-in-law is one of the helpers who goes out during a crisis with the Red Cross and sets up help stations. Find some organizations that are truly helpers and donate money. They can use the money more effectively than goods when the need is there. They have the background and the networks to do the most good with your money.
If you are ready to make a difference in your home and would like ideas, support, or accountability in working or developing plan or project, join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.