5 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Make A Big Difference To Someone Else

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We all want to make a difference in the world, but we often don’t know how start.

While some people seem to know exactly how to change the world, others are at a loss. For most of us, though, making a difference seems like an unachievable goal, something that we can strive for but never really accomplish.

However, that’s simply not true. There are countless small ways we can change lives and history right now (even if we can’t see the change we’re making).

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If we all do at least one of these small acts today and every day to help a stranger and do something nice for someone else, we’ll start to make the world a better place.

1. Lend a listening ear.

One of the best, and easiest, things you can do to make a HUGE difference is to be a friend. Listen to people close to you when they talk to you about their day, their concerns and their ideas. Empathize with the people around you and share love.

People appreciate it when their feelings and opinions are considered. You may not have advice that can solve their problems, or you may disagree with their beliefs, but you can still listen to them with an open mind.

2. Pay it forward.

It doesn’t have to be something as obvious as paying for the person’s meal in line behind you. Just spread the kindness that someone gave you on to the rest of the world. Or pass along a smile. Paying it forward is a great way to inspire others to do good as well.

3. Make someone’s day.

If you like a woman’s dress, tell her. If you appreciate the friendly service you received at the drive-thru, say so. Don’t hesitate to say something nice to another person. Who knows? It might be the only nice thing they hear that day.

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4. Donate spare change.

You know those change jars at some restaurants and businesses that ask you to donate to a good cause or those donation stands outside of Walmart during the holidays? Make an effort to throw your extra change in them. Are you really going to use that change anyway?

There are also apps and browser extensions that allow you to donate money without even raising a finger! Tab for a Cause, for example, allows you to earn money to donate to a charity of your choice (from a list, of course) as you open new tabs on your internet browser.

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5. Volunteer your time.

I rarely have time to think, so I understand how hard it can be to find time to devote to others in a typical day. But there are ways to make even the smallest amount of time count. Trust me.

For instance, I became a Be My Eyes volunteer. The app connects sighted volunteers with visually impaired users via video call who may need help reading medication instructions, picking out matching clothing, etc.

I also try to take a second every day to look out for other people. Maybe someone’s struggling with their bag in the parking lot. Or maybe a family asks me for a recommendation for a place to eat, and I take the time to ask them their preferences and really consider my suggestion. Just take a second to be a decent human being. That’s a good enough use of your time.

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Meaghan Summers is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.