“You are the drop, and the ocean.” - Rumi
As individuals, we are sometimes faced with the enormity of our separateness from one another. We go about our daily lives, busy with our own pursuits and challenges. Oftentimes, we forget that we are part of a community that thrives or declines depending on the lives of its members. Each of us are elements that make up a whole, yet at the same time, are multiple reflections of the world which we are all part of.
Make A Difference Day: The Driving Force
It is in the spirit of fostering a sense of community that Make A Difference Day was established in 1992. It was started by USA Weekend magazine and initially supported by Points of Light. Since then, the fourth Saturday of October has been highlighted as a special day to commemorate volunteerism through caring acts both big and small. Various volunteer groups and organizations have taken up the call and have made this day a worldwide event.
Each effort is celebrated, whether it be for just that one neighbor who needed a helping hand or the local community sponsoring a particular drive. Volunteering in itself can have a significant impact on the individual who does it, as well as inspire others to follow suit. It gives people from different backgrounds the opportunity to come together for the benefit of others, without expecting anything in return. It is this ethos that sparks change for the better, whether it be in one person or throughout a whole society.
How Can You Make A Difference?
For this day (and actually any day) you are limited only by your willingness to contribute your time, effort, and resources. In addition, any act of kindness is enough to fuel that spark of good that can then be passed on exponentially. We cannot be certain how deeply our beneficence touches others, or how wide its effects are; but we can hope that our one drop ripples through the entire ocean.
Here are a few suggestions on how to celebrate this day:
#1 — Donate to a charity that has a special significance to you.
In this way, your contribution takes on a unique meaning for you as well.
#2 — Volunteer to take part in an event or drive sponsored by your community.
In doing this, you are directly helping address the needs of your locality.
#3 — Let your hobbies guide you.
The things that you love to do can also give joy to others, maybe it’s time you shared them.
#4 — Show kindness to someone who you know has been struggling.
A simple, caring gesture or a handwritten note might be enough to uplift their spirits.
#5 — Spread the word.
Share #MakeADifferenceDay and #NationalMakeADifferenceDay on your social media to create awareness and encourage others to participate.
On a Personal Note…
Make A Difference Day has now become more important than ever. The whole world has gone through, and is still experiencing, a fundamental tectonic shift. With this, the support that we offer and receive from each other has taken on a more vital role in maintaining our well-being. Each everyday act of kindness has greater weight and more potential to make someone’s day better.
One of the ways my friends and I boosted each others’ morale was to send one another care packages. These may be in the form of a home-cooked meal, materials for somebody’s hobby, or a collectible which that particular friend liked. Along with these parcels came a handwritten note using a fountain pen, as this was what had brought us together in the first place. This letter was an added personal touch that connected us, especially during those times when we felt worn down by the isolation. Before, these things would be considered pretty commonplace, but now such gestures felt imbued with the love and care we had been missing.
I know that we aren’t the only ones who have found seemingly ordinary ways to offer much needed encouragement. People all over have come to realize that doing something good for someone can be as simple as asking how their day is going, to grander, more eloquent gestures. Each one though makes a difference, and that is what’s important. There may be an official day for this, but we can do our part every day and in any way we can.
Make every day Make A Difference Day!
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Written by Lekz Umali
Check out her art on Instagram!