“So, you want to change the world? Who do you think you are? Do you know how much awful crap is going on in this world? People are starving, killing, beating, dieing, thirsty, overly fat, overly skinny, hopped up on pills, stealing from one another, bitching about nothing. You think you… one person… with one idea… with one life… can change the world?”
Our Answer: “1st… Stop being such a Carl Complainer. 2nd… Can I make this world a better place? …YES, I DAMN WELL CAN.”
Here’s the thing… the Carl Complainer up above… well, he’s right… The world we live in today has always had and will always have a boatload of problems. And at times that boatload can feel like a sinking ship.
But here’s the other thing… let’s screw the naysayers, and be the waysayers. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Where there’s passion, there’s ability and imagination. Where there’s a problem, there’s opportunity.
Here’s a few examples of how you and I can take our passions, niches, and interests and change this wild world we live in for the better.
THE PERSON WITH A PASSION
Whether your talent and passion revolves around something as random as building replicas of the world’s most eye-popping architectural structures out of toothpicks or is something not so random like website design, film editing, culinary arts, or outdoor activities.
Design Creatives: As a Web Designer myself, I’ve launched a scholarship program (more info on this coming soon) to work with foundations and grassroots campaigns. You can easily offer your skill set to people in this world trying to do some good, and help them get there!
Your Biggest Interests: Let’s say you’re a sports addict… plan a charity softball event with local companies and organizations to benefit a cause you care about. Maybe you’re a badass lifestyle design surfer like Sal Greco and you can start a free one week surf camp for less fortunate kids. Maybe you’re a kickass percussionist like Mark Powers and you can organize a Battle of the Bands for Charity or start something like his Junk Jam Sessions!
THE TRAVELER ABROAD
There’s a reason us travelers have such a passion for seeing the world. It’s because we love it! We love its differences, we love its similarities, we love the crazy things you don’t see everyday and the local customs that include water splashing in Thailand and tomato throwing in Spain. But let’s not take it for granted, my friends. We should give a little back to the places that have allowed us to call ourselves real travelers.
Give Your Time: Whether you’re in another country for one week or one year, find a way to volunteer while you’re there. I taught English weekly in the outskirts of Buenos Aires when I lived there and I look back on those memories fondly. Isabel Eva Bohrer over at Vegabondish is a great example to look up to in regards to someone that took it upon herself to travel not just for the sake of travel, but to volunteer as she did it.
Help Stop Hunger: Cook up meals in your apartment or hostel and then spend the day handing them out to the homeless or less fortunate people where you are. Take a few pictures and document it to share with your family, friends social circle to show what you’re up to and to inspire them to create change in their own backyard as well.
THE TRAVELER WHO ISN’T TRAVELING
Even if you’re stuck at home, there is so much you can be doing to change the world! Besides, most change springs from ideas and actions that begin in our own backyard anyway, right?
Fix Up Your Block: One of the most wonderful people I know in the world, Kyle Russel, planned a local event to clean up one of the trash-filled lots on H Street in DC. They’re currently in the works to plant a community garden in that very lot. Kyle is a real estate agent who knows a thing or two about making your own backyard the world you wish to be in and see.
Organize A Walk: I recently wrote a post about how to solve the little dilemma of being a traveler who isn’t traveling. The feedback I got was amazing and became a big part of what inspired my the 50 Mile Walk For World Changers I’m doing next week! I took my love for adventure and exploring and decided I’d walk 50 Miles over the course of 2 days and raise funds for DonorsChoose.org. (Check out the World Changer walk Post HERE! Your support means the world!).
THE ENTREPRENEUR / PASSION PROJECT ADDICT
Start A Business: Just look at Kristen and Shannon from All Of Us Revolution! These two amazing ladies have started their own clothing line from the ground up, traveling around Central America researching materials, redefining the status quo by making a clothing line that fits in with the minimalist lifestyle and is also sustainable, and living a double life to be able to make their dream happen! Talk about taking their passion, turning into a lifestyle and business, and then making the world a better place with all of it!
Start A Blog: World Traveler and Changer Amanda Kloeppel of Amanda’s Annotations has been using her blog as a brilliant way to show the causes she’s passionate about and talk about how she and others are taking action to support them. If your blog is your passion project, incorporate a section of it to at least spreading the word of causes and organizations you believe in.
SUMMING IT UP WITH A CALL TO ACTION
You and I both know that all talk and no action is a bunch of bullshit. We can’t be travelers if we we don’t travel, we can’t become better individuals without doing the things that make us better, and we can’t make a difference without doing the things that actually make things different.
So, my challenge to you is to think about a few of the things in your life you’re passionate about and talented in, and come up with a list of ways you can harness them in the form of a Project, Event, or Activity to make this world a better place. Want to live a more inspired and inspiring life? This is one of the best ways in the world you can do that more!
And if anyone ever says anything to you like how I started this blog post, tell screw em’!
Share your ideas in the comments! I’d love to be your brainstorm partner and offer ways to expand your kickass ideas and help you make it happen!!!