27 November 2008

The Best Way to Save the World is to Save Yourself

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The best way to save the world is to save yourself. Sweep your own doorstep. Tend your own garden. Always do what you've agreed to do. Never take anything that's not yours. Be generous, but sceptical, kind, but not naive.
- The Daily Reckoning Australia
Poverty, violence, hunger, war, global warming, religious intolerance, terrorism . . . the problems of the world may seem big, but the solutions to them are small. They start with one person, you. They start with simple actions, the kind of things that you, and I , can do everyday. Grand gestures are exciting, but its the little things that really count. Their effects ripple out from our own lives and make a difference in the lives of others.

  1. Put your money where your mouth is
    Live by your values. Its easy to complain, its easy to throw up your arms in horror. But if you want to make a difference you need to have the courage of your convictions and you need to take action. Stand up for what you believe in.

  2. Do less
    Sometimes less really is more. Spend less time talking and more time listening to others. Make a point of consuming less. Use less resources. Drive less and walk or cycle more. Eat less meat. Slow down and enjoy life.

  3. Value the things you have
    Do you really need more Stuff? Do you need a new car, a bigger house, another TV? For many of us more stuff means more debt. And more debt means less time and more stress. Appreciate the things you already have.

  4. Build relationships
    People are more important than things. Really! Make your life's focus more about people and less about Stuff. Cultivate your friendships, treat everyone you meet with respect, be kind.

  5. Share what you have
    If any one thing can make a difference to the world then it has to be generosity. It doesn't have to be on a huge scale - we can't all give like Bill Gates. Be generous with your love, your time, your possessions, your money. Giving generously creates a feeling of abundance. It makes us less afraid of what we might lose, it builds community and connects people, it creates opportunity.

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