Question: I’d like to do more to improve things around me, but I don’t feel there’s a lot I can do. Changing the world seems like such a huge task—how to know where to start?
Answer: The good news is you don’t need to be someone powerful or famous to make a difference. Each positive change—no matter how small—is changing the world for the better. We can change the world by improving the lives of those around us, through deeds of kindness and consideration, and by showing faith in them. Here are some practical tips to help get you started changing your part of the world, one heart at a time.
Build up excellence. Try to think of at least one thing that you find outstanding in a person, and then make it your task to let them know. Don’t be shy; they won’t get tired of hearing it. What you’re doing is building confidence in that one area, and as they gain confidence, they will start to improve in other areas as well.
Share the responsibility. Give others responsibility in the areas in which they are strong. Make them feel trusted, needed, and appreciated.
Appreciate who they are. Appreciating others for what they do is important, and people like to be thanked and acknowledged for it, but being appreciated for a personal trait feels a lot nicer than only being appreciated for the outcome of that trait.
Keep appreciation simple and doable. Don’t feel that you need to have wonderfully warm feelings about a person, or be their best friend and really know them deeply before you can make a difference in someone’s life. You can be a near stranger and still have a marvelous effect on someone.
Slow down. It takes time to see people in a new light. Go slower in your interactions with people and give God a chance to reveal His perspective.
Pause to meditate. Think of the positive ways that someone has helped you. You will have a change in how you view others, because you will have taken the time to go deeper, past the surface assumptions that are so easy to make.
Let go of the past. Everyone dislikes being labeled or put in a box. Be willing to see who the person is today or the potential of what they can be tomorrow, and don’t let your view be marred by your past experiences.