Is it possible to make a difference in this world? When I first heard about human trafficking, I thought I had to radically change my life, move overseas and home school my kids while my husband busted down doors and rescued people! For some reason, my husband wasn’t keen on the idea! I dwelled upon all my limitations and the things I couldn’t do, and this lead to feeling overwhelmed and months of depression! I knew I needed to do something, but what? I failed my year 12 exams, had no qualifications and no job. Yet over $35,000 has been raised for charity through my music with the help of amazing people in my life so far. I’m not saying that to toot my own horn, I just want you to know that if an average person like me can make a difference then of course you can too, using these three steps:
Step 1: DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO CHANGE
What difference do you want to make in the world? If you don’t know, write a list of the things you absolutely hate with a passion, and it will give you clues as to what you’d like to change. If you can’t think of anything, as you go about your day, be mindful and take a mental note when you feel triggered to want to change something. Perhaps an image on social media or a news story you hear might reveal it to you. I went to a jewellery party and learned about human trafficking for the first time, and that changed me. I mean what could be more evil than buying and selling vulnerable human beings for exploitation?! I wanted to KILL the perpetrators! Choose your cause that you’re going to focus on. Maybe its child rights, or the environment? If you feel so passionately about it that you want to kill people, you’re on the right track!
Step 2: DISCOVER YOUR INSTRUMENT
No one expects one person to change the whole world by themselves. In an orchestra, each musician holds an instrument in their hand which they use to make a beautiful sound. What is already in your hand? What are you good at? For example, one of the things I’m good at is singing, and I learned to play guitar at school. Seriously get a piece of paper out and write down a long list of all things you’re good at, and this will help you discover the instrument (or instruments!) you already have in your hand, which you can use to make a difference. Maybe you’ve got a University degree or a business? Perhaps you’re good at writing, social media or baking? Helen Keller summed it up perfectly with this quote: I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. If this blind AND deaf lady could make a difference, then so can you!
Step 3: USE YOUR INSTRUMENT
So you know what you want to change and what instruments you have in your hand- now it’s time to put the two together. I literally used my instruments, my voice and guitar, and recorded an imperfect CD at my friend’s house. I then sold the CDs and within four months $10,000 was raised for a charity that rescued women and girls from trafficking in Nepal. So how can you use your instruments and talents to make a change in the world? Use your creativity and brainstorm some ideas!
For example, my 11 year old daughter Ash won $1000 and started a lip balm business called Beauty From Ash’s. As a bookworm, Ash was devastated when she heard about illiterate kids in Laos who had never seen a book before. So $2 from the sale of each lip balm goes to Laotian charity Big Brother Mouse who publish books for kids in Laos. Ash is over halfway to her goal of raising $1300, which is what it costs for a book to be published and distributed. If an 11 year old kid can do something, then so can you! Think about the charities that align with your cause that you could support. Can you raise money for them, volunteer, or advocate on their behalf?
PLAY YOUR PART. Anyone can have good intentions and ideas, but that is just like holding an instrument and not using it. Everyone has to play their part in an orchestra, and perhaps some of us have a bigger part to play than others, depending on our ability or talent. You need to figure out what your part is in changing the world, and actually DO IT! Now imagine all of us taking action and using our unique instruments together- what a beautiful sound it would make! You just have to play your part, not anyone else’s, just as you are, right where you are! That’s all there is to it!
Last month I visited World Vision’s Child Rescue projects in Cambodia, after raising $20K through the sales of my latest CD. I was so impressed with World Vision’s work! You can read all about it HERE. You can be an ordinary, everyday Jo like me, and make a difference! If you’re interested in sponsoring a child, you can find out more HERE. I don’t make a commission or anything, it’s just another way that I like to change someone else’s world! When we all play our individual parts, it collectively makes a big difference! So there you have it, you don’t have to be famous like Angelina Jolie or Bono, nor do you have to be a billionaire like Bill Gates or Richard Branson. So just go for it! Be the change you want to see in the world– Mother Teresa