Change the World in 5 Steps March 15 2010

Bono, Oprah, President Clinton, and Bill Gates are all well-known advocates for AIDS and/or Africa. All four of these public figures have used their position to increase awareness, raise money and, in some cases, trigger policy changes in support of their cause. But let's be honest, most people don't have the money, position, or power that these celebrities have. I know for sure that it's not for me to solicit congress to appropriate additional funds for AIDS prevention abroad.

So, how can one regular person, like you or me, change the world?

Here are the 5 steps that I've come up with:

Gandhi1. Get Passionate about something. Do you love animals? Is gardening your thing? Do you love helping the elderly? Have you lost a loved one to heart disease, diabetes, or lung cancer? Do kids, poverty, education or unemployment get you worked up? Everyone has something they're passionate about.  What is it for you?

2. Get Shopping and raise money for your favorite charity. Admit it, you already love to shop and having something delivered right to your door is always fun. Well, now you can shop AND raise money for your favorite charity. It's easy. Just go to Good Shop, pick your favorite charity and start shopping. Every time you shop at a participating online store your charity will earn up to 30% of your purchase. Totally easy and totally worthwhile.

3. Get Involved in whatever you're passionate about. You don't have to start a non-profit, write a book or solicit congress, there are organizations at the local, national and international level that you can get involved with. Go find one and volunteer, even if it's just once a month. Need a little help finding an organization? GuideStar can help. Not quite ready to get involved with an organization? That's okay. Look next door, does your neighbor need a meal or their lawn mowed? Get going.

4. Get Away and experience an entirely new environment by taking a mission trip. You don't have to travel to South Africa to go on a mission trip; there are organizations that coordinate trips within the United States or to South America. A mission trip is a life-changing way to experience a new culture, see the world in a different way and get passionate about making a difference. Once place that you can get more information is Back2Back Ministries.

5. Get Together with your friends, family and even your children and get involved. It is an amazing thing when two (or more!) people get together, get passionate and get involved. Big things can happen.

In the end I believe that if I touch the life of one other person and make it just a bit better then I've changed the world for that person. So, I don't have to be Bono, Oprah, Bill Clinton or Bill Gates to make a difference, I just have to be me.