Making a Difference: How to get started
If you’re starting to become concerned about how we live our lives – whether that be related to human rights, animal treatment or the environment – it can be very difficult to find out what you can do about it (if anything). This is also likely one of the reasons why these things are still occurring. It’s understandable that everyone feels like a small, insignificant part of the system and that their behavior will not change anything. Unfortunately, it’s exactly this type of thinking which causes it to not be fixed. Individual steps do make a difference, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely responsible for what is happening. A casual approach is likely to be the way to go. 🙂 In this post, I’m going to talk about how you can get started.
Gather your thoughts
To begin, you can consider what is important to you and what you’d like to be changed. Thinking of one particular issue is a good idea. It could be a general issue (such as the environment as a whole) or something more specific (such as plastic use). In our case, the first thing we started with was the treatment of animals. I wouldn’t recommend trying to cover a wide variety of issues because this can quickly become overwhelming. You can research the issue to find out exactly what is happening, but I feel that you don’t need to go too in-depth with this. I like to take a “think positive” approach rather than focusing on the negatives of the issue.
After you’ve found the issue you’re concerned about, you need to think of the first step you can take which could help. Even the smallest step will work. In our case, to improve the treatment of animals we decided to occasionally buy organic, free-range meat instead of meat from animals which aren’t treated as well. If you wanted to do something to support human rights, you could consider something as small as switching to a Fairtrade coffee or buying other products from a company which is known to treat its workers and suppliers fairly. For the environment, you could try to reduce your electricity or gas usage by turning your lights or the heating off more often. These are just some of many examples you could think of. You might find that it feels good to be making a difference, a feeling which can be somewhat addictive. 🙂
Finding your comfort level
Once you’ve started making changes for your cause, you will likely run into problems sooner or later. This is where you’ll find that you can’t follow your morals on the issue at all times without making significant alterations or sacrifices to your life. To use our example: you can buy meat from well-treated animals at home, but this is much harder to achieve when you’re traveling or when you’re out with friends who perhaps aren’t as interested in the issue as you. Obtaining information on the sources of what you buy often isn’t easy as well.
At the end of the day we also want to live a happy life without everything being difficult. For this reason, you should try to find your comfort level when it comes to the changes you’re willing to make. You aren’t going to be perfect at all times and that’s fine. If everyone made just the smallest change, the effects would still be huge.
The hardest part of making a difference is actually the beginning. Most people are not thinking about the consequences of our actions because we aren’t seeing them directly. You don’t need to feel guilty though. Our society makes it very challenging to support fair treatment of people, animals and the environment. This isn’t your fault.
However, not all is lost. Think positive. We want to show you that it is possible for you to make a difference whilst still being able to live your live to the fullest.
If you found this post useful, please share it on social media. If you’ve started making changes, feel free to leave a comment saying what you’ve done (even the smallest thing counts!).