Secretly, we all want to be Wonder Woman. Unfortunately most of us don’t have the powers, or the skills, or the skin-tight spandex superhero costume. In this increasingly frightening world, all we really want is to make our mark and do some good, but it’s hard to decide what exactly to do. Here are some tips to help…
Through Your Career
There are many jobs that you can do where you get to help people every day. If you want to get home with a sense of satisfaction every day, why not consider the following professions?
Emergency Services. Although this can be a frequently traumatic job where you see the worst of people, you also get to see the absolute best that humanity has to offer.
Medicine. If you want a hands on career where you get to help people every single day of your working life, then medicine is actually it. Not everyone wants to go to med school for a long time and incur that kind of debt—if you feel that way, then why don’t you consider looking into nursing schools instead? You can always retrain as a nurse no matter what other career you’re in the middle of—if you’re good at caring for people, you enjoy science and you have a strong stomach, it might just be for you.
Teaching. In every country, the school system is flawed, which means that they need all the good teachers that they can get. If you’re organised, dynamic, passionate and not afraid of raising your voice once in a while, give teaching a go.
Fostering. There are very few jobs that are more emotionally taxing than being a foster carer—you may have to look after children who have been physically and emotionally traumatized. But watching that scared little sweetheart slowly come out of his or her shell will be more than worth all of the time, energy and love you’ll put into them.
Through Your Volunteering
If you donate to charity on a regular basis then you’re already doing more than many people are. But you know what’s even more valuable than your money? Your time. Dedicating a couple of hours a week to a local charity or non profit will be excellent for them and it might also be beneficial for you to find out more about the world around yourself. If you volunteer to help out in their offices then you could gain valuable experience, and if you help to walk and exercise dogs at your local shelter then you’ll be making those pups very happy, and also giving yourself a good workout! If you’re politically inclined then it’s also a good idea to volunteer for your local political party or whatever’s going on in your local area. Whether it’s stuffing envelopes or going door to door, the only way you’ll get your views out into the world is to express them regularly and do what you can to help.
Through Your Everyday Life
You could give thousands and thousands to charity and not be doing much good if you don’t extend kindness and courtesy to others in your everyday life. Buy lunch or dinner for homeless people if you see them, particularly hot drinks if the weather’s cold, and make sure that you treat them with a generosity of spirit. Small random acts of kindness are what make the world go round, and the more you do, the more natural and instinctive it will become. Avoid arguments wherever possible, and make sure that you don’t feel entitled to things. Everyone you meet is carrying their own burdens and you need to be aware of that before complaining to a barista’s boss about her lack of eye contact or perceived impoliteness. Try to look for the good in others, and cut them some slack where you can.
Through Your Kids
As parents, all you want to do is raise your kids with a good understanding of the world around them. Make sure that you help them to understand what’s happening outside of their own little social sphere by watching the news with them, and helping them to understand the importance of sharing your wealth by donating to charity. For example, why not ask them to help pick out a charity that your family can donate some money to at Christmas? That way, they’ll start to figure out what causes they feel strongly about at a young age. Teach your children to be compassionate by demonstrating the importance of sharing with other kids, and by modeling good behavior in front of them by making sure that you speak calmly and thoughtfully, and reigning in your temper whenever possible.