Help Big Doing Small

Whether you are a business leader responsible for a team of intern analysts, or a coach of a basketball team, helping others should be a natural aspect of the job. But what about helping other people in the world?

Whether we’re starting university, at a new job, or going through a midlife crisis, it is often at these ‘highlights’ and 'lowlights' that we question what we are doing in our lives. For many millennials, having been raised in a world with prominent issues such as war, poverty, global warming, and world hunger, we have grown up under the shadow of the Baby Boomers who set in place these realities. As a result, we are wanting to do something about this at a younger age.

We all can’t afford to buy a plane ticket to Nepal and help out with the disaster there, nor do all of us have the knowledge and ability to cure cancer or stop famine. So how would one go about trying to make a difference?

Pick something you support

Nowadays, it’s not all about picking up rubbish or visiting nursing homes to comfort the elderly. There are so many causes that we can volunteer for. While volunteering for the sake of doing social good is great,  if you are passionate about a cause, it is more natural for you to commit more towards it. You know you care about something when you are not afraid to openly talk about it to people. 

Donate Money?

It’s surprisingly more difficult to feel like you have ‘helped’ a cause than one would expect. Naturally, you would think that putting coins in a collection bucket would do something meaningful (whatever that may be). Donating money may be the easiest way to ‘help’ a cause that you support. Ask yourself this: what is your money doing and how much of a direct impact do you feel you have? In most cases, we donate money without realising what that money is doing, and are emotionally disconnected from that cause.

Shop with Thought

You may be surprised just how influential you are as a consumer to shaping businesses. Every time you buy a product from a company, you are validating what you are purchasing, the processes they used in creating it, as well as the brand itself. Social enterprises such as Warby Parker and League Collegiate Outfitters are companies that go beyond selling products, helping others help themselves. Think about whether you want to support their business. Do they treat their workers properly? Is what they are making and how they are making it bio-friendly? What are they doing to make the world a better place?

Do something small

Everyone’s busy, I get it. But there are plenty of ways to help without it eating into your time. I’m not talking about clicktivism or signing petitions. Think about supporting animal welfare by taking adorable puppies from dog shelters on walks, or knitting beanies and gloves to send to people who suffered from the Nepal Earthquake. All these things can be done at home or on your break, in a short amount of time.

We all can do something tiny that help in a massive way, whether it’s shopping with thought, or writing postcards to ill children at hospital. After all, bigger isn’t always better, sometimes the small things in life have the most impact.

Michael Fung