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Most of us go through life, one day at a time, soaking in all that the universe throws at us. No matter who you are, where you are from or what your story is, one thing we all collectively identify with is the feeling of despair at the state of affairs in the world.

It’s for real. It’s overwhelming. And if you think about it long enough, you can believe that nothing in the world makes sense anymore. While one can hate the world for a bunch of reasons, there is also, I believe a natural spark of responsiveness to our life that we all originally hold, but that gets lost out in the pace and eventfulness that life is. If you, however, are a person who sees the need to make a better world, here are a few pointers that will help you figure just that.

1. Recognize your place in the world

All change begins with the self. But before you get busy changing things, it is absolutely imperative to objectively look at the ‘good’ and the ‘not so good’ that you are made of. Spend time in knowing who you are, and how you relate to the world outside of you; these are the things that will make you personally understand how you can improve yourself, and effectively look at the world as a place capable of change too.

2. Empathize

The struggle is unbelievably difficult for everybody. ‘Struggle’, though, is also such a subjective, personal matter. A lot of the times, we are so overwhelmed with our own set of worries, or we are so complacent in our own personal victories and achievements, that we forget that perhaps it is not always simple to achieve, even for the best of us. And that level of ‘achievement’ is only as much as you’re capable of believing and make believing.

3. Let your spirit of generosity always grow

Take a long moment in time to understand what all conspires in the world to make your life easier. While there is no true measurement of generosity, there is always your own personal experience and your own understanding of what you can offer to a situation: in doing the most you can and inspiring others to do so, collectively, we become a society capable of affecting greater change.

4. Inspire others by doing what you love

It takes a hell lot of an effort to crack this one. For one, a lot of us define ourselves by the things we do and stuck in our ruts of working long hours, tending to family and what not, it’s easy to lose our sense of identity, and sometimes, our sense of purpose. Do the things you like to do, and if you feel like you don’t know, take time to find out, and not be afraid to become an ace at it. True joy and inspiration, after all, is only seen in those who persevere and do what they love endlessly.

5. Give things and people the time and importance they deserve

Have you been getting the feeling that you are doing too much, or too little, and yet don’t have time to even relax? Maybe it’s time you slow down a little bit and put things into perspective so that you don’t end up missing out on the things and the people that are of importance to you. The most important person who deserves time is you. Your presence and absence to people and situations make positive or negative impacts based on you taking the time to analyze and know what is important, and what is just clutter.

6. Understand your impact on the planet, and improve

Do you get the feeling, that as you have grown, you have seen more and more of the planet change for the worse? It’s difficult to say objectively what’s good and bad for the planet all the time, but by ourselves, we are capable of caring so much more about it. Even as you read this, your city, town, and homeland are going through immense change: be mindful of it, and wherever you can affect it, at whatever level, do it.

7. Educate yourself

One of the things that we actively do in the adult world of things is thinking we are incapable of learning more or changing our views and attitudes about things. Can we blame the world for being what it is when we don’t even have the time to understand it? Taking time to listen, explore, understand and actually engage in conversation that can make things better doesn’t sound like a bad plan. Or does it? It’s the least you owe yourself for the experience of being a human being.

8. In any situation that requires you to step up, step up

None of us are really blind to the atrocities that surround us. There are those situations that are absolutely out of our hands, like the trouble in Syria, for example, and then there are those that we can actually affect, like paying attention to domestic violence in our neighborhoods, bullying among the children (and adults) around, squabbles on the street, anything. The next time you can be of consequence, be of the consequence that makes things a little righter.

9. Be the person people can look up to for solutions

Life is tough. No matter what way you see it, there are people around you that may be stuck with situations that may or may not be out of your scope of helping. If you can help, great, that’s much better. If you can’t, at least you know that the person is looking out for you, and with enough time, you actually may be the bringer of the solution. That’s what we want to be right, solution bringers?

10. Appreciate

If there is one thing this world could seriously do with, it’s stepping up the amount of appreciation it has for the things that make life what it is. A lot of the sadness and maybe even destruction in the world comes from people being a lot more open to hating on things and others than actually finding a reason to adjust, acknowledge and appreciate. It’s definitely among the most difficult things to do on this list, but it also has the power to progress our perspectives on each other.

11. Promote the idea that we are all important to each other

It is easy to see the differences amongst us as things that divide us. But our planet is large, and so our ways of living life are different and varied from each other. While Mahatma Gandhi spoke about eyes for eyes making the world blind, we are in an age where killing each other over differences is not a rare occurrence. It’s a herculean task, but every small and large, every personal and public action towards changing this counts in the end.

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