Monday, September 29, 2008

Change the world, one small step at a time

I was reading an interview with Jane Goodall the other day and something she said really hit home. According to Jane,
If people start making changes, then you start getting the major change that we must have if we care about the future for our children.

Sometimes the big picture is so daunting. The damage done to our environment, economy and relations with other countries seems to be permanent.

But it's not. It might be a challenge and it may take years to repair but I believe to my core that we can change.

If everyone made one small change to their daily living such as replacing just one light bulb with an energy efficient light bulb: in one year it would save enough energy to light more then 3 million homes. That would prevent the release of greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of about 800,000 cars. One small change, makes a huge impact.

Consider a slightly more expensive option. Replacing a traditional toilet with a low flush toilet will save thousands of gallons of water a year. If you replace a typical 3.5 gallon model with a 1.6 gallon model, it will save a family of four 11,096 gallons per year. That is a whopping 54% reduction in toilet water use.

Our economy is in slump, we all know that. What can we do to boost it? I am no economist but I am fairly certain that if Americans buy products made in the USA and support our mom and pop shops, it would make a difference. If our lawmakers revoke the tax breaks for overseas manufacturing and bring the big companies back to the USA, I believe that our economic future would look brighter. Sure that is a simple answer for a complex problem, but as I said, small changes make a big difference.

Lets examine for a minute the effect a random act of kindness has on the rest of the world.

In the midst of global crises such as pollution, wars and famine, kindness may too easily be dismissed as a "soft issue," or a luxury to be addressed after the urgent problems are solved. But kindness is the greatest need in all those areas
-Bo Lozoff

Teaching our children tolerance and compassion is a simple first step that all parents can make. Simple things like holding the door for someone, smiling at a stranger, or even baking your neighbor brownies can make such a positive impact on thar person's life.

I leave you with 20 Ideas for Being Kind, which I found at

20 Ideas For Being Kind

1. Be resolved to become a kind person. How do you do this? Think, speak, and act with kindness.

2. Love kindness. When you do what you love, you are happy. A master of kindness is a master of joy.

3. When encountering someone, let your first thoughts be, What kind words can I say to this person and what kind things can I do?

4. Keep asking people, What can I do for you?

5. Everyone needs encouragement. Ask yourself, What can I say that will be encouraging?

6. Wherever you are, you are there for a reason. Ask yourself, Since I am here now, what kindness can I do?

7. Every kind person is unique. You have unique talents, skills, knowledge, and resources. Utilize them to help others in your own unique way. Ask yourself, In what unique ways can I be kind?

8. Do a daily act of kindness without letting anyone know who did it.

9. Learn from every kind act you see or read about. Ask yourself, What can I learn from this to be kinder?

10. A valuable rule is, Even if you do not feel like a kind person, you can still act like one. Think of a kind act you can do that you do not feel like doing.

11. Think of a kindness telephone call that you can make today.

12. Think of a kindness note, letter, or email that you can write today.

13. View your own pain, distress, and suffering as tools for empathy and understanding. Ask yourself, How can this experience help me be a kinder person?

14. Keep asking yourself, If I were this person, what would I want others to do for me?

15. As soon as your recognize a need, volunteer to do something about it. Do not wait until you are asked.

16. Listen to those who need a listening ear. Listening to someone is a great act of kindness.

17. If you know that someone is looking for a job or needs to earn more money, ask yourself, What can I do to make it happen?

18. Be empathetic and compassionate. Be resolved not to cause distress, pain, or loss with your words and action.

19. Learn from everyone. Keep asking people, What kindnesses from others have you appreciated?

20. Pray for the welfare of others.

© Rabbi Zelig Pliskin [based on "Kindness" by Rabbi Z. Pliskin]

1 comment:

Earth Lovin Diaper Mama said...

You're so right on.

We need to support our LOCAL economy as much as possible. We need to be an independent nation, generating goods (including energy) to meet our own needs.

How can we expect families to put money into the economy when we are not putting money into theirs?

Good stuff, Work Wife.