How To Change The World From Your Couch

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The world is full of good and bad people of all kinds. No matter where someone is from, what they do or don’t believe, how they were or weren’t raised – every single one of us is individual and unique. I really do believe that most people are good, but a glance at the nightly news will remind you that plenty, are not.

I think sometimes this mass scale makes it difficult for people to want to extend a helping hand to even just one person because they feel like it won’t make a difference anyway. There is so much evil in the world and so many people to help, that it is virtually impossible for them to make any sort of impact on their own. So, they figure, why bother?

This reminds me of a story many of us have heard. The story is about a man walking on the beach with his son. There were thousands of starfish that had been washed up onto the shore. The son began to run along the beach and throw them back into the water to save them.

The father stopped him and said “What are you doing? There are so many of them, that will never make a difference.” The son looked up at his father and said – “To that one, it will make a difference.”

You may not change the entire world, but you do have the power to change the world for one person. If each of us did that, would the entire world not change by default? We all have this opportunity to create lasting greatness every day, no matter how small the act.

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It could be something as minuscule as a smile, or something as large as stepping in on a fight or dispute that’s getting out of hand. It’s natural for us to avoid conflict or to just assume that somebody else will help – but what if they don’t? What if everybody hesitates thinking someone else will get involved, and nobody does?

These uncomfortable, sometimes confrontational moments in our lives are the exact times that our destiny is shaped. These are the universe opening the door to greatness and testing your courage to walk through it.

These are our small chances to become immortal. The small chances, despite not being able to live forever, to create something that does. To be the subject of a story carried on about that one time this amazing stranger did this amazing thing and changed the course of history for an individual or a family.

In the age of 5-second attention spans and 140 character conversations, there will never be a replacement for the emotional effect an act of kindness can have on a person. When everyone is standing around waiting for somebody else to take action – be that somebody else.

You don’t even need to leave your house – social media gives us the power to make a difference in the world from the couch, in our pajamas. Tell your story. Support a cause. Promote a charity event. Do something that will make someone else’s life better, daily. Social media is very much real life, because there is a real human being at the other end of your conversation.

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Not good enough for you? Get out into the world. Take those relationships you’ve built and invite someone out to coffee. Grab a drink. Get on a plane. Do something that will expand your horizons and get you off the couch.

Extend a helping hand, make a real difference.

You never know who you might save.

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7 thoughts on “How To Change The World From Your Couch

  1. I love this article, James, and completely resonate with it. It has been my life journey to tell the story of compassion and courage of the man who saved my father and over 100 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. Like your post, my book Legacy of Rescue:A Daughter’s Tribute inspires us to make a difference in everyday life. Thank you for your powerful post.

  2. Really great article. I think a lot of us are caught up in the overnight-success phenomenon, and how incredible our outreach COULD be…and then we neglect to recognize that we changed ONE person’s life, which could make all the difference in the world.

  3. I wrote a long reply that didn’t post. Great read, and thank you for this.
    I was glad to read it after wondering whether there was a point to sharing my own personal story on my own blog. This was a good reminder that even one person can be positively affected by this sharing.
    Thanks, again.

  4. Pingback: Links of the Week – July 3, 2015 | Boundary Issues

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