At times the world seems so filled with devastation that it’s possible to lose faith in our own ability to make it a better place. But the reality is that we can. Change can happen.
So, if you feel a bit powerless against the enormity of the world’s problems, here are five ways you can make a difference without leaving your city.
1. Carry out a random act of kindness
We often underestimate the potential impact of treating strangers to random acts of kindness. The acts might be small, but they have the ability change a person’s entire world.
Spreading positivity and kindness can only encourage more positivity and kindness to be spread, right? It could even make you a happier person in return.
If you believe that kindness can change the world, check out Random Acts of Kindness and become a kindness ambassador.
Go on, spread the love!
2. Use social media
Love it or hate it, social media can help raise awareness about global issues that don’t get enough coverage in mainstream media.
Whether you already have a prominent presence online or not, there are lots of ways you can make a difference to the world through social media.
Fancy yourself a wordsmith? Blogging can be an effective way to change perspectives. We’ll be running our annual blogging competition again in 2018 so watch this space for ways to get involved.
Prefer using Facebook and Twitter to change hearts and minds? Then make sure you read our guide to having effective conversations about the human rights issues that matter to you.
If film or music is more your thing, then YouTube is a great social media channel for uploading short films or creating original songs with messages you think people need to hear. Check out Amnesty Australia’s YouTube channel for some ideas.
3. Saving the planet: the little things add up
Have you ever been to a festival and looked at the state of the ground as everyone starts to leave? It’s often a game of spot the grass through the layers of discarded chip packets and drink cans.
When everyone else is doing it, it might seem easier to get away with throwing your Mars Bar wrapper on the ground while no one is looking. But it’s important to remember that no matter what the circumstances, there’s a reason we throw our rubbish in bins.
And that’s just the basic stuff. There are so many things you can do.
Conserving energy is a big one. So is using sustainable transport. Try to carpool or use public transport wherever you can. Walking or riding a bike also are great options – just think, you’re getting fit and saving the planet!
And of course, recycle! You’ve probably heard it a million times, but be sure to separate your glass, paper, cardboard, aluminum and recyclable plastics from your trash so that they can be reused in the future.
Want to know more about protecting the environment? Check out Greenpeace Australia’s website today.
4. Treat everyone equally
Beyond Blue’s “Stop. Think. Respect.” campaign brought to light the invisible discrimination still being inflicted upon Indigenous Australians by employers, shopkeepers and everyday commuters. The advertisement is confronting and a reminder that racial discrimination is still a problem within Australian society.
So what can we do to help? Well, firstly, we can do exactly what Beyond Blue – an independent, non profit organisation that works to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression – asks of us.
Additionally, we can make it our mission to stand up to people if we see them treating anyone as less than equal, due to their race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
In order to shift negative attitudes and perspectives around the globe, we need to make the start in our own cities.
5. Become an activist
Get active! If you’re unhappy with something going on in the world it’s important that you stand up and make a difference. You can help raise awareness about an issue, get your message out there and ensure that people know the real facts.
Amnesty offers lots of opportunities for you to get involved, through rallies, letter writing sessions and other similar events.
Find out how to get involved with Amnesty in your local area – there are plenty of opportunities to join in and help make a difference.