Making a Difference in Your Vicinity

Source: beautiful-tree-in-winter-53903.html
Beautiful Tree in Winter, October 28, 2013

The title of this post was inspired by the South African social rights activist and retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu who was a staunch opponent of apartheid.  He has elegantly stated the following,”Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”  How beautifully simple in terms of a sentence but how incredibly deep when giving it further thought.

In today’s day and age, we are bombarded with images of suffering and hopelessness all over the world especially when we watch the news everyday.  Guilt and fear  make their home in ourselves as we absorb this knowledge through print or visual media.  As altruistic and helpful beings, we rush to judgement about governments, organizations and key opinion leaders who should do more and make a difference to bring change to those lives and situations.

However, we forget the difference that we can make within cities where we reside, communities where we live, work places where we spend most of our time, schools attended by our children, neighbourhoods that provide a safe haven and finally our homes.  As individuals we have the strength to impact strangers, colleagues, neighbours, loved ones, friends, relatives, family and ourselves the most.  Once we start focusing on the immediate and take responsibility and pride in our area we will see our outlook and attitudes change for the best.  Moreover, as we decide to volunteer our time and help others around us not only do we feel good for giving but also view ourselves as a valuable and contributing entity of society.

Giving your time and to help someone does not have to be something huge.  It can be something like having a few kind words with your neighbour, spending time with your children, planting a tree, volunteering for an organization supported by your work and many more such activities.  Do something you love so that the impact you create is meaningful to you.

Making a difference is similar to growing a beautiful healthy tree.  The seed is you as the individual.  As it grows, the good deeds that you conduct manifests itself as the trunk of the tree that expands as you do more selfless acts and give of your time.  The branches on the tree symbolize the people you affect, so a healthy tree has many branches.  Each branch has many green leaves representing the individual good works of the people that you affected.  As the tree grows and flourishes, it bears flowers and fruit, this marks the result of your collective deeds together.  Now think about the amount of time that a tree needs to take form from a seed.  It might just be that it will be some time until one sees the results but when it happens, so many of us will benefit from those good acts down the road.  Many of those beneficiaries are probably not on this earth yet.  In addition, each individual that you affect is also adding their own tree to make a grove.

Of course, you and your fellow comrades will reap benefits of your time and efforts but maybe the result won’t be immediate nor would it be huge.  Remember though, it is the small bits of good that overwhelm the world!  With your one selfless act and kind word, you are influencing your community and your living space.  As we move towards celebrating the World Day of Social Justice (February 20), let’s aid our vicinity to thrive, prosper and succeed.

Author: Anjali Chudasama