I write this post from my adopted hometown of Manchester, UK. On the 22nd of May 2017 our city was targeted and 22 innocent people lost their lives. Unfortunately, the horrendous events continued with attacks also occurring in other parts of the world including London and Australia in the following weeks.
Watching the news can be a painful and frightening experience that can leave us feeling hopeless and scared for the future. Speaking with my friends and family I realise that many, if not all of us, see these horrifying events and think to ourselves “what can I do to help?”
One thing to remember is to never underestimate the power of helping someone to feel more positive about life – inspiring just one person can mean that they are then more likely to be able to go forward and do the same for others in their life. Although you won’t necessarily see that ripple effect in action, trust in its existence and commit to making it happen.
We are all individuals, but just as one person is capable of inflicting so much hurt and hatred, one person is also capable of inspiring light and love in the lives of many.
Choose to be that person.
Here are some suggestions for taking positive action and making a positive change in both your life and the lives of others, that might help us all to feel less hopeless about world events.
1. Start small
By small I mean really small, like start by “smiling at strangers in the street and on the bus” small. Ask how people are or if they’re having a good day when they serve you in shops – having served in a shop, I promise it’s always nice when someone makes small talk! These simple acts of positive communication, over time can help us to feel like the world is a friendly place and can help to reinforce that most people are kind!
2. Donate things if you can
Help strangers by donating whatever you can afford to donate. By this I don’t just mean money. Donate your time to a cause you believe in, donate clothes you don’t wear anymore to a charity you admire, donate some food from your weekly shop to the local foodbank…you can donate as little or as much as you can. Just the act of choosing to do something good because you want to (not because you have to!) will help you to feel like you are making a positive difference and that’s because you really will be!
3. Don’t wait to say I love you
As we have seen, horrifying and life altering events can happen at any time. Although this is a terrifying thought to have, we have to try not to let it stop us from living our lives. The act of being alive at all is a risk, so don’t wait to tell someone what you love about them or that you love them. Compliment people not just about their appearance but about how they make you feel or what you love about their personality. Write people a letter, send someone a thank you card just for being such a positive influence in your life! We never know what is going to happen so commit to making sure that whatever happens, you leave the people that light up your life in no doubt about how they make you feel and how much they mean to you.
Donate to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund here