Part Time Philanthropy

Originally seen by Arvi & published on BRUTE LABS by Andrew Truong

Some people spend their days feeding orphan children in Cambodia, others build shelters for the homeless in Mexico, still others deliver medical supplies to those infected with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. It doesn't take a genius to realize that these people are making a difference somehow.

For a lot of us, especially here in the States, we spend 30, 40, 50, maybe even 100 hours each week in our respective offices, selling things, laying pipe or managing others. Several million others of us are in the classrooms trying to get an education. We struggle to be aware of ways to help others, let alone participate. We have bills, and we have wants, both of which vie for our time and money. Philanthropy and social causes sound great, but they don't really fit into our lifestyles or schedule.

Can the working individual or student make a worthwhile impact and contribute to the world somehow? Sure, here’s a few ways I’ve learned to go about it.

Get educated. Learn more about the world you live in. And no I’m not talking the latest celebrity gossip on, I’m talking about newspapers and magazines and online articles that report on the goings on locally and further away. Realize that you're really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Stories of human rights violations, injustices and the occasion triumph are all there. Go read.

Sweat the small stuff. There’s little ways that you can change the world without even trying very hard. Replace your current light bulbs with CFL’s, use less paper towels and napkins, recycle, pick up your trash, hold open the door for some one, say thanks, get to know your neighbor. Think about how you influence the world around you, and let that change you.

Get your hands dirty. It’s shocking how powerful of an experience a weekend at the soup kitchen, or an afternoon painting houses with Habitat for Humanity can be. Manual labor and serving food not really your thing? Get over yourself, helping people can actually be really fun, try it! If you have a problem with willpower, find some friends that would be willing to do something with you, and watch as it actually happens.

Groundbreaking isn’t it? Hardly, but it should convince you that there’s not really anything preventing even us “busy” people in making a difference.

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