It’s very easy to decry the negatives of social media – and many of us know what those are. However, it can also be worthwhile to consider its benefits. First, it clearly connects people from all over the world. That’s amazing. Second – it allows those people to discuss any topic they might want to. This allows for the rapid spread of information and understanding on a global scale, which is unlike anything people have had the power to experience throughout most of human history. It’s very easy to take that for granted.
These discussions can also lead to important topics being approached, and now we seemingly have the youth more active in politics and other essential topics than ever. This can only be a good thing. In other words, voices matter more than they ever have before. Using this mindset, it can be worthwhile to ask a few pressing questions, even outside the realms of social media. First of all – how do you affect change? Simply asking this question, can be powerful.
In this article, we’re going to try and help you reflect on this question, and perhaps start to make your own impact where you can in your life, as this can be deeply inspirational. We’re also going to assume you wish to make positive change:
Refuse To Complain
In life, it is extremely easy to make yourself a victim. Of course – there are ample justified reasons to do so. Many are fighting with the haunts of past negative experiences, or are currently fighting for justice, peace, or everyday survival. Of course, sometimes, complaining is important. For example, reporting an injustice, or perhaps defending your corner appropriately. It might be that a frank discussion with someone who absentmindedly harming you is worthwhile. However, aside from these parameters, it can be worthwhile to understand the power that refusing to complain can give you.
It sounds like an over-the-top exaggeration to hold yourself to. After all, a good moan can often feel quite uplifting, as if you’ve managed to get things off your chest. But healthy expression is not the same as complaining, as it doesn’t lead into self-pitying nearly as often. Self-pity, as Stephen Fry intelligently articulates, is one of the most useless emotions and actions you could ever involve yourself with. It takes everything, and offers nothing. It is also something that can continue forever should you let it, destroying everything around it except itself.
Even if you do have reason to self-pity, and many do, the ability to refuse this and instead focus on healthy forward progress can be important. It can help you become stronger. And, even if you are a victim, it can help you feel like less of one over time. This can be an essential part of healing, and of realizing your inner worth. For that reason, we would recommend, to the extent that you’re able – a refusal to complain.
Be Uncompromisingly Honest
Little white lies are often undertaken in order to keep us socially healthy. For example, holding your tongue if someone is expressing political views you do not agree with might not be expressing your truth, but it can help a full blown argument in the middle of a supermarket. If a friend absolutely adores a puppy they have just bought, but you think it looks quite ugly, mentioning that will hardly do any good, when the real value is in the happiness brought to your loved one.
However, in most areas of life, doing your best to speak your truth and remain uncompromisingly honest can be a great boon. This doesn’t mean it will be easy. Sometimes, such as expressing your distaste for something important to you, or pretending to be friends with someone simply because they’re a colleague at work, can often have an eroding effect on your personality. It could be that simply being honest about your desire not to attend the office party, or perhaps telling your partner you greatly dislike your mother-in-law for justified reasons can all have a balancing effect. It might be that while the honesty can often peel back the layers of driftwood and moss that have accumulated over your life, and sometimes harshly, that speaking mistruth could lead to worse consequences in the long-term.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no,’ or to disagree, or to express your taste, provided you are able to do so tactifully, never becoming one of these ‘I just say what I think!’ people. This is quite often used as a cover for those who wish to be as harsh as possible, so it’s a fine tightrope you walk here. However, living your truth while also being receptive to listening can help you nurture yourself more appropriately, if only because it helps you become more honest with yourself.
Follow Your Dreams
All of us have goals and dreams in life. It’s very common for us to put our dreams on hold while we attend to other things, such as a career, a family, or traveling the world. There’s nothing wrong with this. There’s no law that says you have to absolutely fulfill every dream you had as a teenager. However, it could be that at least trying could be a worthwhile cause, showing you if this progression is worth it for you or not.
The more people try and self-actualize and push towards a direction that they would adore, the better we will be. But it really takes self-searching to make this happen. If your dream is to make graphic design your full time career? It might be worth attending a course and getting in your practice. Perhaps you would like to be a journalist? Cutting your teeth writing for a local paper could be a great start. Studying an online master’s in nursing could be the conduit to a lifelong career of true help and compassion.
Following your dreams, as you can and as you will, with care, attention and focus, can often be an amazing means to help yourself feel more involved in your work. Even if you start from the very bottom here – getting somewhere, even fractionally, can help build that fire within you.
It is so easy to judge others. In fact, doing so is natural. Humans have to judge others and our environment, it is how we survive. Walking down the street, you naturally cross sides if a group of rowdy pedestrians are walking in your direction. If you can smell someone strongly on the train, you likely know that sitting next to them is not a good idea. However, despite these quite normal judgements each of us make, even if we find it hard to admit, there is a real need for kindness in this world.
Becoming kinder can be as simple as purchasing a homeless person some food, being less quick to assume someone is acting out of being a bad person, but a situational impairment. For example, consider someone pulling a somewhat dodgy driving manoeuvre to shift lanes. It means you have to adjust. This naturally annoys you. But does it mean that the person is a terrible, irredeemable idiot? Perhaps. Is it more likely that they made an error in judgement, probably realized it, but then had to continue with their course to avoid making things worse? That’s possible too.
Overall, we can never know. The person at the counter who seems rude might have just learned of the passing of a relative. That aforementioned person on the train might be suffering with extreme, unaided mental health issues. The only way you can cut through some of this prejudice is simply being a little kinder, a little more patient, and a little more open. This doesn’t mean you have to be a friend to everyone you meet, or even assume the best in people. But simply cutting them just the smallest of slack can be worthwhile. Practicing this also has an incredible secondary effect. It also allows you to do the same for yourself.
Be An Example
It can be hard to know how to raise our children. It seems that they are born with a lively personality all by themselves, and you are simply the means to ensure this develops. But on the one hand, teaching them about life and how to better embody it is often a goal that any principled parent cares about.
The best thing you can do is remain an example. Keep your house clean and tidy. Ensure that you help them stay organized with school work. Never express road rage in the car with them. From a young age, exercise prominent hygiene standards when caring for them. Never cloud them with self-limiting beliefs, or overt criticism when they make a mistake. Be an example. After all, while it sounds cliche, children truly are the future, and good parenting can truly help you affect change.
With these tips – we hope you’re better able to make your corner of the world a better place. That’s all any of us can ever do.