• Small Things You Can Do to Improve the World Today

Small Things You Can Do to Improve the World Today

family issuesAt I Choose Change, we encourage change that lasts a lifetime. That’s why every month, we’ll take a closer look at the issues that affect you and your family. Earlier this month, we focused on resolutions and starting over. For the rest of January, we’ll delve into doing the right thing and justice. I Choose Change serves all of Allen, Plano, McKinney, Wylie, Lucas, Sachse and Fairview, and we offer online and email counseling across the globe. Contact us here for more information.

It’s easy to look at the world and see the bad news. It’s easy to think that’s all there is and feel alienated, despondent, and even depressed. “What can I do against all that?” you cry. What can one person do in an entire world that needs so much? The first thing you need to understand is that you are an important part of the world, and can make real change. This is your power, and yours alone to direct.

The Star Thrower

There is a poem called ‘The Star Thrower’ by Loren Eiseley in which a man walks along a beach after a storm, and encounters a child throwing stranded starfish back into the ocean. He protests that the job is too big, and it will make no difference in the end. The child looks at the man and hurls a starfish back into the water, and says, “It made a difference to that one.”

One small difference, one kindness, one simple action may not change the world, but it will change the world for that one.

I have a friend who rescues animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, anything that needs help, love, and care. Facing euthanasia after what is often lifetimes of neglect, these animals need so much love, care, and time – but the change she’s given them is a lifetime with people who will love them. Her walls are lined with photos of these animals with new families, and ones that lived with her for their forever. Another gives each month to a carefully researched charity, purchasing defined items and services that go to people in need, and leads a fundraiser at his office to build schools and train teachers.

Even if the change is never known by anyone outside your living room, there are others who will feel the connection and the good of your actions.

Start Small

Find a change you want to see, them be the change you want to see. Volunteer with animal rescues, or volunteer at a community food bank, even just set aside five dollars a week to give to a charity at the end of the month.

Treat Yourself Gently

The ills of the world are not your doing, but you can feel depressed and hurt by being bombarded with them, triggered to feel painful emotions from your past. You can want to atone for them, when it is not your place to do so. If you find that you have these feelings, it can help to talk with someone such as an Allen based therapist to work through the issues and understand your feelings, and how to cope with them. You can feel more bonded to your world, instead of burdened, and attached to a strong base of support for making your own changes.

In the end, changing the world doesn’t have to involve grand gestures, ambitions or goals. A few lines from Pulitzer Prize winner Jorie Graham encapsulates the thought perfectly. “Love: begin with the world: Let it be small enough.”

 

About the Author:

Jennifer Slingerland Ryan knows a thing or two about kids and families. First, she knows they are joyous, exhilarating, loving and so darn fun. Second, she knows they suck your life dry and make you weep like a baby. By day she’s a psychotherapist; by night she’s a mom and wife. She claims to love therapizing couples, educating parents, reading dystopian fiction and sleeping in her free time (read: she never sleeps). Jennifer has spent over 12 years in private practice working with individuals, couples, and parents who are faced with kid-drama, mamma-drama, and family-drama, and she claims that although some stories make a grown woman cry, she loves it.

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