On Making the World a Little Better

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It’s one of the simplest rules of thumb when deciding … well, just about anything.

Will this make the world a better place?

Even if it’s by a tiny amount, it’s worthy of thought.

Many use this as the measure of a life: will the world be a better place because you’ve been in it? Will you have made the world a bit better by the time you leave?

Many use this as the measure of worthiness: the world is a better place because you’re in it.

But it’s a great rule of thumb for smaller decisions and thoughts as well. Will what I’m about to do make the world a better place?

I think many people get wrapped up in comparisons. They think that making the world a better place needs to be on the level of a Gandi, Martin Luther King, or Mother Teresa. Or they think of things accomplished by the likes of Einstein, Tesla, Edison, Jobs, Gates or others. While there’s always argument, sure, those folks have all transformed the world, and I would say for the better.

Don’t let the size of their impact diminish your own.

Don’t let the size of their impact prevent you from aspiring to something smaller — perhaps even tiny. Remember, enormous improvements are most often the result of a multitude of tiny ones.

There are countless platitudes around how a tiny effort on your part can sometimes mean the world to someone else.

Even if you think your actions don’t mean that much, when it’s effort in a positive make-the-world-a-tiny-bit-better direction, it’s a good thing. It really does make the world a little bit better.

Help a friend. Adopt an animal. Smile at a stranger. Clean up your yard. Say thank you to a barista and mean it. There are so many opportunities in daily life, and they all represent tiny steps that make the world a better place simply because you passed by.

2 thoughts on “On Making the World a Little Better”

  1. Well said. Mother Teresa said “if you can’t feed 100 people then feed just one.” And the Dalai Lama said “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Two of my favorite quotes.

  2. Leo, Please keep them coming. Each one is better than the last, and the last, so far, have been wonderful. My Dad taught his 15 children to ask ourselves that same question whenever we did something. I guess he figured if we all did what we wanted, there could be a bit of chaos in the house. When faced with that question, it is pretty hard not to do the right thing. Well, unless you don’t have a conscience and then you’re lost.

    Thank you for your 65 thoughts.

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