You don’t have to have a prominent position in society to cause an impact because you can make a difference in your immediate circles. The best time to do it? Right now.
According to physics, an impact is caused by the momentum generated by mass and movement. How does that relate to you? Well, executive life coach Jason Bernic says the impact you make can be as small as having a conversation with a friend or as big as going viral on social media. “Even if you make an impact on one person, it can change their life, which is an impact. Hammering a nail, exerting a force on a small area, can make as powerful an impact as an earthquake that lifts a truck,” he adds. Here are practical ways to make a difference:
Add your voice
We live in a digital era, and having an online presence allows you to elevate the conversation from a social perspective. Movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #GBVMustFall, popularly referred to as hashtag activism, have gathered momentum. Adding your voice can offer a different perspective, which can spark progressive conversations about a movement that already exists. Don’t let the fact you only have a few followers stop you. If you boast a big following, that’s even better. Consider using your platforms for positive change.
Lend a hand
Many people are feeling displaced in the wake of Covid-19. You might think only the wealthy can help, but that’s not necessarily true. Lending a hand could be as simple as donating the clothes you’ve outgrown to someone less fortunate. You could start a soup kitchen, knit blankets for the homeless or give your child’s old toys to an infant who’ll appreciate it. If your financial situation allows, you could donate funds to organisations that provide relief to families during the pandemic such as The Solidarity Relief Fund, Feed SA and Growing Hope. Opening your heart and wallet makes a difference.
Stand up for a cause
If you feel strongly about human rights, join a global movement such as Amnesty International, which advocates for equal human rights for all. Are you passionate about preserving the environment for future generations? Joining like-minded activists at Green Peace allows you to campaign for a greener, more sustainable future. Can’t find a cause that resonates with you? Create a platform to articulate your stance. Start a blog, a YouTube channel or a podcast to connect with like-minded people and make noise around your cause.
If you’re a victim of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, it’s not always easy to speak out due to the fear of further victimisation. But you must understand that what happened to you wasn’t your fault. Reach out to an organisation such as People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) or the TEARS Foundation for support. When you find the courage to tell your story, you remove the veil of shame and secrecy, which gives others the confidence to do it too. If you’re in a position to speak up on behalf of other people, do it!
Go against the grain
We live in an era of representation and inclusivity, so if you don’t see people who look like you in some spaces, why not be the first person to walk through the door? When you set out the intention to make an impact, expect resistance but don’t let that stop you. The world’s great leaders spoke out against injustice, and their fearlessness sparked movements that changed the course of history. This Barack Obama quote draws a fitting conclusion: “Change won’t come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for. We’re the change that we seek.”
Jason Bernic shares this sage advice: “Stand up for what you believe in, speak out on behalf of others, speak up against atrocities, and support other people. Sharing your story, or one that resonates with you, can influence the mindset and/ or actions of others. Doing the right thing, going against the norm for the betterment of others and the world, just getting involved, causes an impact. Do amazing sh*t, create something or add your voice to a cause that already exists. Be a leader, and lastly, get out of your comfort zone!”
Visit africanimpact.com to find a cause that speaks to you.