This is probably one of the most important things I could accomplish, and one of the things that feels closest to my heart and who I am. I think I have always had in me the desire to make a difference somehow. I think it is good to think big because there are so many in need, but it is also good to remember that we can make a difference in smaller ways, too. One of my bigger ideas is something I would strive for if I had the means. Still, I keep it in mind as a possibility, as a potential project, and it inspires me. When I have thought of making a difference, I think it has mostly revolved around people. More recently, I find that there are three main areas I would like to touch – people, animals and the environment. They are important to me, and making a difference in each of those areas would feel complete to me.
Other than my big idea, something else I have often thought of doing is visiting a small village at Christmas time and bringing food, items/toiletries, gifts, etc. It does not have to be at a specific time or for a specific occasion, but I suppose Christmas came to mind because it is a special time and one that can remind us the true meaning of giving. If I have ever thought about learning to fly a plane at times, it has mainly been with this idea in mind. I have thought about preparing a basket for a less fortunate family in my area. I have thought about volunteering in Nepal and elsewhere, being part of projects that help teach the community or assist with building projects (I have looked into Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program as well). I have thought about visiting orphanages. Various things over time.
In terms of animals, like many others, I find them a joy to be around and simply interesting to watch and learn about (like people). More so now, I find myself really admiring and appreciating those who invest time and effort, who invest of themselves, to help animals.
Animals need such people. Animals can greatly touch our lives and we can experience a deep connection with them and it is painful to hear of or witness them suffering and the thought of them being helpless at times without people who care enough to fight for them.
In terms of organizations, PETA of course is one that has made a name for itself and one that seems to actively pursue the cause. I don’t doubt there are other organizations I have not yet heard of that are making a significant difference as well, and I would like to support one or some of them if I could. I once donated to PETA and though I am unable to renew my membership at this time, I took the time to visit a website for cruelty-free products and requested the free vegetarian starter kit. Though I am not a big meat eater, I’m not sure I would be able or want to eliminate it completely from my diet, but I definitely am considering participating in the 30-day veg pledge, and exploring vegetarianism during this time. If I am able to do this, I would consider dedicating at least one month every year to doing so. I do believe there are benefits to the health, to the environment, to the animals, in reducing our consumption of meat. For quite a long time, I have not eaten KFC because of the awareness provided by PETA. I did not like the idea of supporting a chain that mistreated their chickens and seemed unwilling to change their ways. Fortunately, it seems that KFC Canada has now agreed to implement changes, so this is a positive step. http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/canada_kfc_victory
The issue of the environment has been a front topic in recent times, and can sometimes feel like a fad (all about the green), but I think if it brings awareness and if we can learn to take better care of and conserve the resources that are often taken for granted, that is a positive thing. If it is a fad, then it is a good one to have, and though you hope people take steps with the right intentions, what is great is that it is something that does not necessarily need the right reasons to make a difference, as long as it is done. And I think for those who need a little extra push (including myself), it can help to think not only about the effects for ourselves but for future generations. There are many articles offering suggestions of course. I was reading an article in Women’s Health magazine describing 11 simple tips, and they did seem simple. I also came across an article through yahoo called Top Ten Ways to Be Green. I wanted to compare the two to see which points may have been different, but haven’t done so yet. Here is the yahoo article if any of you would like to read it: http://green.yahoo.com/global-warming/lime-68/top-ten-ways-to-be-green.html
I also saw a link to a website that offered ideas for parents in terms of offering their children more time in nature as opposed to time in front of electronic devices, which is more and more common. I thought this sounded so great, and have yet to look it up. I will share it in my next entry when I come across it again.
These are just some of the many thoughts I have. I will try to list any steps I take in future entries.
Take care everyone. :) 5 years ago