A Few Things to Make the World a Better Place

Moving forward is proving to be really hard. I had a few comments on my last post about how we have to move forward and since life doesn’t give us a choice, why not move forward making the world a better place? I think that is a great idea. There are a bunch of people who are going to do a random act of kindness for each life lost and again, I think that is a great idea. Instead of focusing on the evil of the world (which I admit, I am having a hard time not thinking about), I am going to try to shift my thinking to see what good in the world can still be done. Instead of focusing on political agendas and pointing the finger as to what caused the evil, I am going to believe that if everyone started living their life being a better person, good would prevail. I know it is not that simple but the only thing I can control in a situation that feels pretty out of control is me so that is where I am going to start.

A few to get me started:

  • Smile. It sounds so simple but I think about how often I forget to smile at someone while passing them by at Target or at the schools. When someone smiles at you, it makes you feel like you matter, that you are special. I am going to start telling people that they matter by smiling at them.


  • Today when I am at Target (because you know I will be), I am going to let someone go in front of me while in line. It’s an easy one to do but so often we are in such a hurry that we are oblivious to others around us. Giving someone the gift of time by letting them spend less in line might make them smile more.


  • I’ve always had a sort of little fantasy of purchasing a gift card from whatever store I was at and leaving it with the cashier to give to the third person behind me. That way I have enough time to get out of the store without the person knowing it was me. It has got to feel amazing to be someone’s angel.


  • I’m going to really pack up all of the toys that Gia doesn’t play with anymore and donate them to a daycare center or GoodWill.


  •  I’m going to pack up the books (and there are a ton) and donate them to my kids’ classroom and their teacher can decide how to distribute them.


  • I’m going to send my kids’ teachers an email thanking them for all that they do. It is the easiest thing to do and something that goes a long way in making someone feel good.


  •  This might not make the whole world a better place but it will make life in this house for five other people a little better. I am going to say yes to almost everything for a whole da (sleepovers not included). “Mommy, come build a tower.” “Yes.” “Mom, can you watch my dance?” “Yes.” “Mom, can I call a friend?” “Yes.” “Mom, can I prove to you that I can make good choices?” “Yes.” “Is it okay if I go out and watch the game with a few buddies?” “Yes.” (This makes me wonder how many of Leo’s friends read this and are going to call him up with an invite?)


  • I’m going to have more patience when I drive so as not to spew out so much negativity into the world and on the roads (I have issues here). I am going to remember that the person driving in front of me is someone’s grandparent, someone’s young driver or distracted because life is full of distractions and it doesn’t help to swear yell at them (not that I have ever done that and usually never in front of my kids).


  • I am going to be a model of kindness for my children so that they see that being kind is much better than being mean. While on the subject of this, why, when the world is mean enough, do siblings insist on being the meanest to each other? I won’t give up but it is tiresome trying to teach them that as a family, we need to build each other up and not tear each other down. Even as I type that I think it would be nice if society as a whole did that.


  • I am going to watch what I say because words have power. They have the ability to make someone’s day or ruin someone’s day. I am going to choose the former.


  • The biggest thing I can do to make this world a better place is stay in the trenches while raising productive, compassionate, thoughtful citizens of this world. I will hold them accountable for their actions. I will tell them no (except for the few days I deem “yes” days”) so that they understand that you don’t always get what you want. I will make it my life’s work to help them be the very best that they can be without them thinking the world revolves around them. I will make myself aware of what they are doing and teach them right from wrong. As hard as it will be, I will parent them.


And then I will pray because I can’t do it alone.

What about you? What can you do to make this world a better place? More ideas can only help.


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  1. Simply perfectly said my friend. It is the little things that become the big things. I will tell you that I wound up on Monday baking brownies with my girls and playing games after school. I was not on the computer again until after bedtime. It genuinely helped. Reminded me of what matters most.-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted..Oh Great, Now You’ve Done It!My Profile

    • Baking brownies and playing games sounds really good right now. I love that the little things end up being the big things or lead to the big things. That means there is no excuse for anyone to do their part. I also love the idea of stepping away from the computer until after they go to bed. I’m going to try that one tonight.

  2. I think you’re on the right track my friend.
    Alison recently posted..The OrdinaryMy Profile

  3. Yesterday while I was at the drive thru of Burger King, the person in front of me paid for my lunch and I paid for the person’s lunch behind me. I hope it stayed in place for the rest of the day. There really is a lot of love in the world. It just has to be given more time and attention than the evil.
    You have a great list! I’ll be following along with you on the ones that I can. Take care!
    Kristen recently posted..What I Want For ChristmasMy Profile

  4. OH how I love this!!!! Every. Single. Gem. I totally laughed at the driving bit because I am once again SO VERY MUCH LIKE YOU!!!!! It’s just awful the spit I spew in the car…ugh. Anyway, I love your conviction and I am going to do almost (not sure about the yes day…too risky! LOL) every one of the things on your list. What an awesome way to put some “feet” to our feelings…
    Chris Carter recently posted..The Latest Tragedy… Will You Join Me Again?My Profile

  5. I love these ideas! I really like the gift card at the register. I always think about paying for someone’s meal behind me in the drive-thru and then I get anxiety thinking I’ll say that and it will be someone who bought lunch for their entire office or something and I won’t have enough on me to pay for it! But leaving a gift card would be a great solution!
    Shell recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: What MattersMy Profile

  6. {Melinda} Oh, I love this AnnMarie. We cannot control the evil around us. But we can control our actions and the way we parent our children. I pray all the time that my small contributions might be used in some way by the Creator to push back the darkness. What an inspiring list.
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..serving with no strings attachedMy Profile

  7. OOOH! I’ve done the gift card thing! One day Lucy and I went to Starbucks and bought a $20 gift card. We asked the cashier to use it for as many customers as it lasted but not to say where it came from. She and I sat there and just watched People were just so overjoyed. It was SO MUCH FUN. No, it wasn’t a necessity, but it was something that brightened people’s day.

    I think it always feels so good to let someone go in front of you in line or let someone in to a line of traffic. It makes me feel…lighter.

    I love your list. I need to work on throwing out more positive vibes. It makes a difference. :) –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Oh Great, Now You’ve Done It!My Profile

  8. Love these ideas! I have been saying ‘yes’ to almost everything lately and it feels so good. I hated being so tied up with something else that I pushed everyone else aside. But now? I’m putting that junk on hold. Family first, always.
    Kimberly recently posted..You Are My HopeMy Profile

    • My kids have figured this one out already and have started asking for bigger things. I must have really been a “no” person for them to think something was up so soon.

  9. I love your ideas, AnnMarie, especially the ones that don’t cost any money. Just smiling, being kind and helpful and being present for our children make the biggest differences. Plus we are modeling behaviors for them that they can participate in, too. I was running errands today with my five year old and he was telling people Merry Christmas and Have a nice day! It was super cute and made a lot of people smile. Lovely ideas!!
    Kathy at kissing the frog recently posted..What I Wouldn’t GiveMy Profile

    • I love that your little one is getting in the spirit of spreading Christmas joy. The ones that don’t cost a thing are usually the ones that make the most difference. Thanks, Kathy!

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