Normally I would say that being yourself and chasing your dreams is making the world better already. There is no such thing as a selfish path. Creatives often worry about that, but we are the ones who fill the world with joy and entertainment and wonder.
However, I don't think most people realize how easy it is to give even a tiny fraction of what you have - whether it's time or money or attention - to improve somebody else's life or even to make the world a better place for everybody. Did you know, for example, that by lending $25 on Kiva you're helping another human being in a big way? You're not even giving it, just lending it, so you can give it once and re-lend it over and over again. And you get to pick whom you give it to and for what cause - health, education, business, etc.
There are people out there in the world who can't afford to go to their dream school and people who can't chase their dreams because they lack the funds. A simple $25 can change the course of a human life for the better. Wouldn't you love to be responsible for that? Wouldn't you love to inspire more people to do it and truly make a difference?
All it would take is one tiny good action today. And tomorrow. And the day after. Soon there will be so much momentum in these actions that they'll overflow in a beautiful charitable rainbow that is making the world brighter and better for everyone.
It takes one person to start. Everyone else will follow. (tweet it)
Another good thing you can do is to donate a percentage of your profits to charity. With all the talk online about making six figures from courses and building a seven figure businesses, you would think more people would talk about donations.
If all these rich people were giving back, the world would be so different already!
Nevermind the people who want more and more. They will never have enough or feel the warmth you get when you give with no stings attached. Let's marvel at some actual business people who give as much or even more than they get:
- Glennon Doyle Melton is a beautiful human being who started Momastery and from it rose an army of generous women, who quite unexpectedly, felt so deeply connected it filled them up. And once they filled up, they began to spill out and overflow. As a result, the warrior women united to create Together Rising and help women in need. Glennon genuinely helps people see how strong and kind they can be.
- J K Rowling is the first billionaire EVER to lose her billionaire status because of giving to charity. Can we all just give her a round of Amen and pray for her eternal health and the health of her family? She certainly deserves it.
- Marie Forleo frequently talks about giving back, which she does by working together with some of the most amazing charitable organizations out there.
- Sir Richard Branson is well known for his philanthropic nature. You know someone's serious when they give HALF of their fortune to charity.
- Bob Goff calls charitable giving LOVE. He says, Love is never stationary. It doesn't just keep thinking about it or planning for it. Love does. He runs a nonprofit human rights organization and inspires people everywhere with his talks.
- Jeremy Cowart, one of the most influential photographers out there, discovered that greatness should serve a greater purpose and proceeded to found a non-profit called Help-Portrait, crowdfund something amazing called The Purpose Hotel, and do a number of independent projects in third world countries. Watch his incredibly inspirational and beautiful film memoir, I'm Possible.
- Maggie Doyne went traveling around the world when she was 19, set roots in Nepal, started BlinkNow, sent 400 children to school, and adopted 50 of them. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. She's my hero!
"I'm not rich, so I can't make a difference. Why try? Besides, you can't make people care."
You have no idea how many times these heinous words have made the rounds in my head. These are the words of all the nay-sayers you have ever met in your life. But the nay-sayers are only there because there needs to be a balance between crazy and normal. And you know what the nay-sayers do right? Nothing. They do nothing to improve the world.
Simply setting the example for others by doing one good thing is ENOUGH. Did you know that plenty of small businesses donate a portion of their profits to charity? These small businesses are making more difference than those 6-figure coaches ever will!
Now let's move past nay-saying and see what we can say YES to.
You can say YES to setting an example, no matter how small. You can say YES to reminding people that it is within their power to do little kindnesses that could be HUGE to others. For example, I've always wanted to build an animal shelter in my home town because the stray animals here are too many, and the problem gets worse each year. What's even worse is that it's illegal to feed them, so they freeze and starve.
I still hold this dream close to my heart and will one day make it happen. Until then, I do what I can. You can't change the world in one day, but you can change someone's mind today, another's life tomorrow, and so on. You might not be able to dedicate all of your time and resources to a selfless goal of your choosing, but there are so many ways to help, and it only costs somewhere between $25 and 10% of your profits.
And if you're inclined to believe in such things, you're building up good karma!
I truly believe we were put on this world to give back, not just keep getting more. (tweet it)
Because of that, I have always given as much as I could to crowdfunding campaigns, charities, Kiva, and most recently, I have begun feeding baby kittens in my neighborhood. Their names are Gully, Stella, and Sammy, in that order:
Did you spot them on the Stray Kittens Fund? Or my newsletter? Or twitter?!
I just wanted to remind people that stray animals have souls, too, and we need to be kinder to them. I'll be doing a lot more in a few months, but for now, every time you purchase something from The Rebel Store, you have fed one of them. Or you have bought materials for me to build better and safer houses for them. Or you have bought one of them medicine because they've got the flu again. Achoo! *triple cat hug*
I used to wish our society would take responsibility for its problem with stray animals, but it's not realistic to hope that something bigger will take care of these things for us. When we make up the big thing in question, it's up to us to start.
And you start by showing up, says Kid President: