Can you make a significant impact on the world by just living a social good lifestyle? Maybe it’s never crossed your mind, you don’t know how, or you don’t know what social good even means.
Basically, social good is doing things that have a positive impact on the lives of other people. It’s often thought of as these huge aid relief projects that require millions of dollars. But the greater impact occurs when ordinary people live social good lifestyles.
In the words of Gandalf, “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.”
So here’s how you can live a life that has a positive impact, the social good lifestyle:
1. Be Grateful for What You Have
Start by simply being grateful. As you realize how much you really have in comparison to the rest of the world, you’ll start to see the needs that arise. Take a few minutes when you wake up and before you go to bed. Look around your house. As you see things, just be thankful that you have them.
From high priced items like your TV and phone to basic necessities like your bed and clean running water, be thankful for the material things a lot of other people don’t have. Think also about the intangible things, like your job, your school, your family, your freedom, your security – all things that people around the world struggle to get.
2. Learn About Events & Issues
Pay attention to the news headlines that matter. Not the ones about celebrities and sports, but the ones about poverty and conflict. It may take some time to adjust your habits in what you click on in your Facebook or Twitter feed. It may be uncomfortable and unenjoyable, but start reading the stories about tragedy in our world.
Go beyond the sensationalism of tragedy. Search for and understand why these things are happening. But also look for the good – the people and organizations that are doing something about it.
3. Connect With Great Causes
As you read the news, what events resonate with you the most? What situations make you the most angry or upset? What struggles do you relate to? What problems do you want to fix? That’s where your passion may lie.
Find organizations, both nonprofits and businesses, that are working in that field. What are they doing? Getting connected with those organizations is the best way to learn how you can be involved in their work. Follow their social media accounts. Subscribe to their blogs. Signup for their email list. Consider reaching out to them and simply asking what you can do to help – they may have opportunities that you’re not aware of.
4. Share About Causes Online
All organizations, including us at Intrinsic, need your voice online. We need you to be vocal about the issues that are going on in the world, and also about the organizations that are doing good. When you see an important news story in your feed, share it with a comment. When you come across an organization that’s doing good, then please share about them also. People need to hear both the reality of our messed up world and the people who are trying to help fix it.
Carry these conversations offline as well. As you meet up with people and begin chatting about current events, move beyond the talk of movies, albums, and games. Mention an issue or cause that you came across in your social media feed. Conversations educate and create the platform for action.
5. Shop for Ethical Products
Wherever you normally shop, look for products with labels that are fair trade, direct trade, or eco-friendly. When you adjust your spending habits, stores begin to stock more of these items, which makes companies incorporate them more into their production.
Take it a step further and shop specifically for brands that focus on having a social good impact. For example, all of the products on Intrinsic’s store ensure that workers are paid a fair wage that helps them rise out of poverty. You can find these brands online and offline, and we’ll be highlighting a lot of them in our blog this year.
6. Volunteer Locally
Volunteering can happen in a lot of different ways. You might physically go to an organization’s location to work with people or things. Or you may be able to do something from home with a specialized skill.
Find a cause that you care about and see what opportunities they have. For large national nonprofits, chances are they have an office near you. Start by volunteering just one day, or try to commit to once or twice a month. It really makes a difference, and you get connected with other like-minded people trying to make a difference.
7. Donate to a Nonprofit
You don’t need to give a ton of money. Small amounts matter. There are a lot of nonprofits doing great work out there. Consider giving up a coffee and making a simple $5 donation. It seriously does help.
What nonprofits rely on more, though, is the monthly consistent giving. It helps them budget and plan for the work they’re doing. Even something as simple as $5 a month is important.
So What Now?
Act. Start by being grateful. Learn about what’s going on in the world around you. Start talking about the important stuff. Connect with causes working in that area. Act with your spending habits, your time and your finances. You’ll be well on your way to living a social good lifestyle that has a positive impact on the world.
So you have any other ideas? Let us know. Do you know of a cause that’s doing great things? Share about it in the comments.