What is the single greatest lesson you can teach your child that will impact his or her happiness, health, and success? The lesson of making a difference. As humans, we get so much peace, joy, and fulfilment from helping others, it is inseparable from who we are and our mission in life. But too many people grow up being told they can’t make a difference, or that it’s somebody else’s job. But it isn’t. When is the best time to teach your child about making a difference? Right now.
1. We all have a part to play. Making a difference can seem like a job for someone else, like a celebrity or a politician or a saint. The truth is, it’s a job for you and me. The world doesn’t need another Mother Teresa, or another Abraham Lincoln. The world needs you and the things only you can give.
2. It’s worth the effort. You want to become the-best-version of yourself, I want to become the-best-version of myself. Every time you do something to make a difference in the lives of others, big or small, you are one step closer to becoming the-best-version-of-yourself.
3. It’s contagious. The people who think of others first and strive to make a difference live with a joy that is uncommon and contagious. Find somebody who is passionate about making a difference and you’ll see what I mean!
4. You CAN do it. You don’t need money and you don’t need things to make a huge difference right now. Don’t underestimate the impact of a smile on a stranger or a friend, or how much doing an extra chore can make a difference in the life of someone you love.
5. Do what you can. Making a difference can seem like too big of a job for one person to ever have much impact. It is a big job, but don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do. Be the stone tossed into a pond that creates ripples of change.
6. All about people. There is incredible, world-changing, soul-stirring power in treating people like people. It’s as simple as that. Treat people like the unique, incredible individuals they are, and our world won’t be the same.
7. The Key. Generosity is the key to having an impact. If you are generous with your time, attention, money, gifts, and talents, you can’t help but make a difference.
8. It’s who you are. We all have a desire, deep down inside of us, to help others and make a difference. When we are young, we dream of changing the world, but as we get older our lives change and we can easily forget. Don’t stop dreaming. Become who you were made to be.
9. Other ways. Some people dedicate their lives to making a difference, others volunteer time in their communities to help make a difference. Find a cause or an organization that does work you are passionate about, and be generous with your time and talents and help them in their mission. Small actions build up to make a huge difference!
10. Be a role-model. How does this catch on? Be the example at school, at home, at work, with your friends, on your team, when you go to the park… everywhere! Your joy is contagious, so when you show it to others, they will want what you have.
Anyone from any background in any situation can make a positive difference in this world. Teach your child to do one thing daily to make a difference and ask him or her about it every day at the dinner table or when they come home from school or summer activities.
The world doesn’t need another George Washington or another St. Francis. The world needs each one of us to make a difference every day. Share this wisdom with your child.
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