The world is a big place, full of wonder, excitement, and adventure and yet there are dark sides too. Cities and towns that live in conflict, the threat of natural disasters and many unfortunate people that live below the poverty line. While some live like kings in palace-like castles, others wonder where their next meal might be coming from for them and their children – often through no fault of their own.
The world might be unfair, but it is ours and we can make it a better place – and humanity does, often – there are plenty of heart-warming stories of people that have made a difference. You can too! Charity is accessible to all and contributions are always gratefully received, whether you offer your time for volunteering, monetary donations or offer items that the charity can use or resell.
Find a cause close to your heart, or local to where you live or even further afield. Learn something new about another culture and find a cause that supports a wide array of people, such as the festival of Qurbani or a Christmas toy drive. Begin your spiritual journey of giving today and learn about topics around giving including what is Qurbani and how does it support others? Or search for your nearest charity in need of assistance.
While you consider what sort of impact you want to have on the world today, take some inspiration from these incredible individuals and communities and the joy they have bought to others:
One Man Plants an Entire Forest
Whether you are green-thumbed or not, there’s a wonderful feeling to be had when cultivating a plant and it can be great for your mood as well. Now imagine that on a scale of 1,360 acres! That’s what Jadav ‘Mulai’ Payeng has done in the Assam region of Northern India. Back in 1979, when Payeng was only 16, floods caused a large number of snakes to wash up on the sandbar near where he lived. Sadly, without shelter or protection, all the snakes perished which broke the heart of Payeng and he decided it was time to change.
He began planting seeds along the sandbar and eventually the area become the lush Mulai Woods and a haven for all manner of insects, birds, and animals. Learn more about Payeng’s incredible journey from sandbar to forest in the short documentary “The Man Behind Mulai Forest”.
Bikers Against Child Abuse
Bikers can be intimidating people and you aren’t likely to size one up on the street if they cut you off – accidentally or not. But intimidating doesn’t mean cold-hearted. There is an incredible community of bikers from all around the world who stands against child abuse and will accompany abused children to court to let them know that someone is on their side. There is more to it than just owning a bike however, members must attend 40-50 hours of training to learn how to best support emotionally vulnerable victims and must be on good standing with the group for a year before volunteering their time.
Dolphins Save Lifeguard and Family from Shark
Amazing acts of kindness aren’t just restricted to humans. Animals, both domesticated and wild, have been known to perform incredible acts that have saved human lives. In this example, a lifeguard and his family were swimming happily at Ocean Beach, in New Zealand, when seven bottlenose dolphins appeared and began to act in a strange manner.
They appeared to be herding the family of swimmers and trying to warn them of some sort of threat. It was only when one member of the group noticed a circling great white shark, did they realize the danger they were in. Luckily, the dolphins hung around for 40 minutes, surrounding the swimmers and fending off the shark from potentially attacking the group. Dolphins have been known to assist helpless creatures in the past but to put themselves at such a risk for creatures of an entirely different species is an incredible gesture of kindness and understanding and one we can all learn from.
We don’t expect you to start fending off great white sharks or joining a biker group to do something amazing. But even a small gesture of offering someone help on public transport, holding the door open for someone behind you and paying forward a coffee order can make an entire world of difference for someone who’s having a tough day. Next time you are out and about, look out for your fellow living creature, human or otherwise, and do your bit to make the world a much better place to live for all.