This world can be a scary place at times. With news of violence and injustice being shared from all media outlets, thoughts of the future can be a source of despair instead of hope. However, things will never improve if everyone sits around in a funk all the time. Instead of accepting the negative circumstances, consider dedicating some time to creating positive change. Some of these ideas are big and some are small, but all have the potential to have lasting positive effects on the world around you.

  1. Get Involved With Charities

    Giving to charity is a classic way to support causes that matter. While money cannot fix everything, it can go a long way toward lightening the sufferings of people and animals in bad circumstances. If there is a cause that particularly resonates with you, then there is almost sure to be a charity associated with it. If you need more convincing, one study suggests that donating to charity benefits the giver as well as the recipient – the pleasure areas of participants’ brains were stimulated after they participated in charitable giving.

  2. Volunteer in Your Community

    Perhaps you would prefer to provide assistance to society through a means other than donating to a charity. Even if you are unable to give your money, you can always give your time. Volunteer programs allow their participants to directly interact with populations in need. The resulting social connections are often critical improving these situations. No matter where you live, there is sure to be an outlet for volunteering available. Churches, community centers, and city health departments are excellent resources for finding volunteer programs.

  3. Go Back to School

    If you are dissatisfied with your chosen career because you do not think it is helping you make a difference in the world, then you might consider going back to school. Diversifying your education may give you just the edge you need to set positive change in motion. Of course, not everyone can quit school to attend classes full time. Thankfully, there are more options than ever for getting online degrees in fields that are geared toward public service.

    For example, the USC MPA program prepares students for the demands of today’s political and social climate by immersing them in both sociopolitical history and current research, along with the leadership training necessary to enact change on a broad scale. Students outside the US who are interested in learning more about the United States public policy methods can benefit from the USC LLM program, which provides a detailed look at US law and how it influences international business and other ventures. Both of these degree programs provide priceless information that can be used to help others in versatile settings.

  4. Help a Stranger

    You might not have time to take on any new commitments right now, but you still have time to spread positivity. Make a goal to help three strangers a week for instance, by covering the bill of a fellow diner at a restaurant. You don’t have to spend money, though. You can also help someone who has dropped their groceries on a busy street, or even let someone in your lane in heavy traffic when you’d rather someone else do it. Kind gestures do not have to be extravagant to be meaningful.

You Have the Power

As uncertain as these times can be, it is important to remember that you are not helpless. If you are reading this, then you are already better off than most of the world’s population. That being the case, you need to do what you can to pay forward your good fortune. The next time you feel defeated by the tragedies you hear and see on the news, just remember that there is nothing stopping you from lending a hand. Whether you get a new degree or simply get a meal for a stranger, the power to change the world is in your hands.