Don’t try to change the world.
Have you ever found yourself saying something like, “When’s the government going to do something about…” or, “I wish people would…” or, “Someone really should…”?
Some issues in our community can seem so big that we think only a large institution like a government can do something about them, but is that really true? Is it even the preferred way to “do” community?
One thing is for sure: whenever we think someone else is responsible for doing something, we disqualify and disempower ourselves from making a difference.
The truth is that we are an amazing community of quite literally thousands of people with strengths, abilities and opportunities to make a difference to the people around us.
What if, whenever we see a need that we can do something about, we get in and do something that progresses the issue toward a solution? Doing something may not change the world. It may not even be everything that’s needed to fix the problem you’re addressing, but it’s impossible for nothing to happen when we do something.
In Forest Lake the 4078 Pay it Forward Facebook group was started by a local resident as a way for locals to spread kindness to those around them. There are also frequently stories shared to social media of locals paying for each other’s groceries and drive thru orders.
Last year, The Greater Springfield Times told of a local truck driver who saw a need in his community and started offering to mow or clean up people’s yards in his spare time. He’d lost everything before migrating to Australia and just wanted to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Sometimes it just takes someone to start doing something for others to see what you’re doing and want to join in.
In the 4118 Facebook Group in Logan West, there are regularly posts about residents who have received unexpected help from neighbours and strangers. Sometimes an opportunity is posted in the group and so much help comes flooding in that they end up looking for other people to help who might have the same need.
These random acts of kindness aren’t big organised programs with massive logistics and million dollar budgets. They are people just like you who see a need and have a go at doing something about it. They sometimes appear to be random but actually they are individuals who intentionally put their good intentions into action, and the results are often spectacular.
- What is happening in your street or neighbourhood that you care enough about that you’re willing to do something to make a difference?
- What strengths – resources, abilities, ideas, etc – can you use to make a difference?
- Who do you know that might be interested in helping you?
Most suburbs in our community have thousands of people in them. Some are great at cooking. Others are great at fixing stuff. Others are great at creating social gatherings like street parties. Some are great at empathetic listening. Others are great at sport. Some are great at advocating to authorities. Others are great at organising things. We all have ‘something’ to offer the people around us that will do them good.
So, what’s strong with you?
And how can you use your strength to make a difference in one other person’s life this month?