What is Service? How to Change the World

As children, many of us dreamed of changing the world. We thought we’d grow up and make a difference, do something important, and leave an impact on the world we lived in. Then you grow up and there are bills to pay, student loans looming overhead and deadlines threatening to keep you up at night. Suddenly, those dreams of changing the world seem like childish fantasies.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way.

As we grow older, we lose that youthful hope. The “real world” stamps out that desire to do big things as we focus on just surviving. Again, it shouldn’t be this way. We all have opportunity, big and small, to make a difference in the world. We just have to choose to act on it.

How do you truly change the world?

Service.

It begins in your own homes, in your own communities and it grows from there. Don’t complain about things you are not willing to work yourself to fix. It’s easy to be an armchair warrior, spouting off about this and that, but not actually DOING anything about it. Change doesn’t happen by talking about it alone. Change doesn’t happen by wishing it would happen. Change happens because of the people who get up and do something.

What are you doing to help that struggling single parent?

What do you do to support LGBTQ rights?

What do you do to fight racism?

What are you doing to change the things you don’t like about your community, your government, your country, and your world?

We can’t sit around like Homer Simpson and cry, “Can’t someone else do it?” and then feel entitled to opinions on these issues.

There comes a time when you need to start acting on your beliefs. This is how you truly change the world.

People make excuses when they don’t want to get their own hands dirty. It’s easier to toss a dollar in that Salvation Army bucket during the holidays than it is to volunteer to sort toys.

Sure, money is needed. Money is always needed but there is also a need that goes beyond just the financial. Sometimes you need to get into the trenches.

Service changes lives.

Service changes the world.

People mistakenly think they need to be someone important to incite this kind of change. You become someone important by taking action when action is needed. Stop waiting for the “perfect moment”. Stop waiting until you “make it” first.

You can do it just as you are right now. Today. In this moment.

You can start small. Look for opportunities in your own back yard. Look for needs within your own community, your neighborhood, or your city. Can you volunteer? Can you highlight an issue that needs attention? Can you fill a need or a gap within the community with skills that you have already?

Another way to make a difference is through random acts of kindness or paying it forward. These small acts will often create a ripple effect that travels throughout the entire community. You can start small with something as simple as holding the door open for a stranger but then build on that and look for bigger ways to make an impact.

We can’t complain about the society we live in while doing nothing ourselves to make a change. Stop making excuses for why you can’t make a difference and get out there and DO something!

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Lisa Clark is a freelance writer and professional blogger. Lisa has been writing and publishing online since 1998. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of pages of Web copy in her years as a freelance writer. She's passionate about the written word and eager to take on new, exciting projects. See samples of her past work at writerlisa.com.

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