The following is a list of specific things you can do to
send out positive ripples into the world, ecologically, structurally,
financially, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I’ve intentionally
listed your own personal growth first since changing your own life is ultimately
the most effective way that you can change the external world.
Deciding Who You Are
The best thing you can do is to work on your own growth. The more intelligent, capable, and open-minded you are, the more you can act in alignment with truth, love, and power to enable others do the same, and help our world to grow. The world can only truly change as an extension of changes in consciousness. So, if you want to see the world run differently, be part of the shifts in consciousness required to make that happen.
Likewise, lowering your consciousness lowers the consciousness of others around you. Definitely avoid complaining, insulting others, and dishing out undue criticism. Stop putting your attention on unnecessary negativity, such as fear-based mainstream news and violent TV shows. Disconnect from people who don’t respect you. You’d do well to stop hurting yourself, too. Don’t eat foods that exhaust you or could eventually give you a heart attack. Drop any self-destructive habits you have. Stop doubting yourself and mulling over how awful and weak you are. When you drag yourself down, you drag the rest of us down. When you’re at your best, you better enable the rest of us to be at our best, too.
Decide who you are. Lay out your vision of your highest self. What would you believe? What would you know? What principles and values would you uphold? What would you do? What would you not do? How would you treat your loved ones? How would you treat strangers? How would you treat people who dislike or disagree with you? What would interest you? What would you care about? What would you eat? What would you wear? How would you live: in a house with a mouse, or in a box with a fox? Decide, and then commit to realizing this vision. You can adjust along the way as you continually decide who you really are.
Decide why you’re here. Then, devote yourself completely to being the living embodiment of your answer.
Just listen. What is your inner voice saying to you now?
Share your knowledge, ideas, questions, and interests in further explorations publicly. Do this over the Internet since you can potentially reach more people, over time, than with any other approach. However, I wouldn’t turn to social media to do this since your posts will get quickly covered up by others-- not to mention that websites such as Facebook actually take ownership of any content you post to them. I’d suggest using a format more suited to this sort of sharing, such as a blog, an audio recording (i.e. a podcast), or a video to put on YouTube. If you intend on doing this relatively often, it would serve you well to have your own website, where you can put all of your work in one place. You can use social media to promote your work, but hosting your work on social media isn't the hottest idea. Additionally, if you’re quite busy with other things yet have a lot of information you’d like to share, a good outlet for you might be Book in a Box, which takes care of the acts of organizing your ideas, writing them down, and publishing them for you.
Financially support people who are doing work meant to take us in positive new directions, such as by expanding consciousness and helping us to grow; liberating and strengthening us physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually; and enhancing the quality of our lives. You can do this by purchasing anything these people have to sell (e.g. books) or by simply sending them money. Snoop around on Kickstarter and Patreon. Your money could potentially protect us from a comet impact.
As a corollary to the last one, refuse to steal anything. This includes pirating software, audio files, movies, and text files (i.e. e-books).
Invite others to join you in your experiences. Find someone who you can mutually engage in self-reflection with. If you’re taking on a physical challenge, such as a race or a mountain expedition, find someone who can train with you and/or join you on the big day. If you’re doing some sort of research, find people who you can share ideas with. Keep in mind that if you didn’t issue such invitations, the people you invite might otherwise miss out on an experience that is this exciting, interesting, fulfilling, and/or growth-oriented, so don’t be embarrassed about inviting. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you feel like you’re doing a favor to people, however; rather, take the mindset that you’re inviting people to share in your joy (however you go about this, do not use Craigslist).
On the flipside, you can join others who are doing things that interest you, such as a club.
Likewise, you can support people who are doing things that you admire. Be someone’s first follower, and you bring legitimacy and encouragement to their movement.
Engage in volunteer work or donate to charities if doing so would actually be helpful to people in some fashion (especially when it comes to donating, do your research first). You can donate to individual people directly, too.
If you’re up for it and believe you can be effective, run for office and directly participate in government. May God have mercy on your soul.
Choose your career consciously. Don’t take a job or form a business that your conscience disagrees with. Work you’d do well to avoid includes producing and selling unhealthy food (soda, candy, fast food—I don’t need to tell you), producing and selling junk people don’t need, and anything else that you might take issue with. If you insist on having a part-time job just for money, do something that isn’t horrible. Go beyond “not horrible” and do work that appeals to you both logically and emotionally.
Grow or gather your own food. If you live in a colder climate you could set aside a room of your house to be used for growing plants or build a greenhouse.
Be as honest in your interactions with others as you can. It’s alright to steadily lean into this more and more over time. You give by telling the truth.
When you desire to praise people, such as if you think they’re beautiful, let them know.
When you see another person, say, “Hello.” Acknowledge the existence of your fellow human.
Take moments to stop what you’re doing, appreciate the beauty around you, look up at the sky, smell the flowers, and be grateful for all that is coming into your life. Yes, you will feel awesome when you do this.
Set positive intentions for yourself and the world at large. Make use of gratitude in advance when doing this (i.e. be thankful for the result before it manifests).
Compost anything that is biodegradable. This includes food scraps and anything derived from trees (e.g. paper; remove the nails from wood before composting it). If it can’t be composted, reuse it, recycle it, or don’t use it in the first place.
You can go as far as you’d like in reducing your ecological footprint. Buy an electric car or modify your combust-engine car to run on vegetable oil instead of petroleum (yes, people have done this). Or, instead of driving your car to transport yourself, carpool, use public transportation, ride a bike, or run or walk to your destination. Fashion yourself an outhouse. If you insist on keeping your toilet, If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down. Go off the grid. Make use of solar or wind power. Build an eco-house. Don’t buy useless junk you don’t need. Turn off the damn lights when you leave the room. Don’t patronize animal agriculture, one reason being that it produces more potent greenhouse gases (i.e. methane) than automobiles do. You’re only limited by what you’re willing to do.
Ecologically, owning a pet is a bad idea (especially if you’re feeding them animal by-products, which is likely the case if you’re buying any old dog- or cat-food. Of course, this isn’t healthy for the pets, either. If you’re going to have a pet, don’t feed it garbage). Do what you will with this one.
Avoid using or patronizing the use of unnecessary, harmful chemicals, such as pesticides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers (i.e. nitrates), and phosphates (found in some laundry detergents). Buy or make the simplest products you can. For a personal example, I’ve been washing my hair with nothing but baking soda for the last year and a half and have no problems to report.
Read the book No Impact Man.
Do your own research on subjects that matter to you. It could be climate change, politics, consciousness, human history, society, nutrition, relationships, human potential, or anything that grabs your interest. Be open to combinations of different subjects, too—they might relate to each other in profound ways. Read books, talk to people, travel to relevant places, perform experiments, and test ideas. Rather than take mainstream opinions for granted or live in a perpetual state of “I don’t know,” make a deliberate effort to see what strikes you as true. Then, share your findings with the rest of us.
To the extent that you can, purchase goods that were manufactured ethically. I know this is difficult considering that cellphones are made with minerals that come from the Congo, where those minerals are mined by slaves, and any clothing that comes from Asian countries was probably produced in a factory by people who work in terrible conditions and barely earn enough to scrape by. If you do insist on buying something that was produced unethically, then buy as little of it as you can and take good care of it so that it lasts. You don’t need a new cellphone every year.
Physically challenge yourself. Acknowledge your existence as a physical being. Run a race, climb a mountain, lift as much weight at once as you can, or climb up a rockface. Or, depending on where you’re starting from, simply ride a bike a couple miles, or even walk to the end of the street and back. You’ll improve your health, demonstrate to others what’s possible, and inspire them to do the same.
Challenge your basic assumptions about yourself, other people, and life. Do these assumptions serve you? Do you know for certain that they are true? Can you acknowledge that there may be something you don’t yet understand? Are you willing to explore new possibilities?
When your conscience constantly nags at you to make a certain change, do it.
Only take actions you can respect.
Don’t die with your music still in you.
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