Most people mistakenly believe that in order to have real influence they must have real “affluence.”
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They foolishly believe that in order to make a difference, inspire others, be a role model, or be held in high regard in today’s society, they must possess power, wealth, or celebrity status, (like Oprah Winfrey).
Not true. Not always. Though Oprah does indeed seem to have the “Midas Touch.” I recently read online where she teamed up with Weight Watchers, and the value of their stock blew up like fireworks on the 4th of July. Still, we should never confuse our “value” with our “net worth.” Even as everyday individuals, we have the ability and social responsibility to improve the world around us, fight social injustices, dispel stereotypes, and to enhance the lives of others.
Our efforts need not be “grandiose” or heroic to count. Consider Rosa Parks. She forever changed the trajectory of Civil Rights, when she simply refused to give up her seat to a white man decades ago. With this in mind, here are a few ways to garner true regard, and elevate others to greater heights.
1.Lead By Example
I think it was Gandhi who said it best. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
There are so many worthy causes to which you can contribute your time, talents and ideas. Think about your local schools, church organizations in your area, or social service agencies for the poor. For some groups even “manpower” is considered a valuable commodity. You’ll discover that sometimes it takes so little to mean so much.
Oprah Winfrey is legendary for her generosity. During her tenure as the “Queen of Talk Show,” it was not unusual for her to bestow cars, trips and lavish gifts to unsuspecting audience members. But don’t get it twisted: you don’t have to be wealthy to “enrich” and bless the lives of others. Start small. Why not donate canned goods to a food pantry or holiday food drive this year? Or give to the homeless guy you pass by on your way to work? Or make an online donation to your favorite charity? The possibilities are endless.
4.Be A Beacon
Use your “platform” and talents as a blogger, writer, speaker (or fill in the blank) to raise the consciousness level of others on important issues, or shed light on timely topics. For instance, Darlene Greene, of IMG Foundation, started a not for profit organization to educate others on the atrocities of domestic violence, and to empower women. Never think that you are too small to take a big stand, even if you don’t have political “clout,” Super powers, or your own personal “groupies.”
5.Adopt A Pet
That’s right. Our furry friends need love too. And if you have kids, it’s a great way to role model kindness, accountability and responsibility.
These are just a few ways that you can improve the conditions of your fellow man, influence others, and put the “i” in epic!