How To Make a Difference.

Across social media, I see people wringing their hands about the idea of making a difference. I think many of us have taken on the idea that “making a difference” is some big inspiration porn, viral video thing and anything else doesn’t count.

It isn’t.

Below find the fastest and most tangible ways to actually make a difference in the lives of people.

First, let’s start with things that don’t cost money. Personally, most of my most supportive audience are like me and are poor folks. If you are unable to show your support monetarily, here’s some stuff you can do.

  1. When people say, please share. Do that. It takes two seconds. If you are unsure about tagging folks, ask. This is especially important if you know that you have more social capital than the person asking. Don’t waste time declaring that you just can’t contribute, don’t wax poetic about how you’d LOVE TO but..just share the things. I’ll use myself as an example. I had a fundraiser that I got about a quarter funded. Every update, I was very lucky if it got 2 shares. If you look at successful fundraising, they get shared. I always say, if you can’t contribute with dollars please share.
  2. If you miss posts for fundraisers, share folks other links. Their shops, services, etsy shops etc. The simplest way to do this is pick a day to spend ten minutes sharing stuff in a facebook or twitter thread. Use bookmarks, email yourself, use your calendars to set reminders that HEY it is Share Tuesday.

If this is too hard of an ask, you are not really about that life. Personally, when I ask and ask and ask HEY please share this thing, and the response I get is folks wishing they could do something, I do feel salty about it. Here is the thing you can do, don’t ignore the actionable thing you are being given. If you have no intention of doing the action, don’t comment. After a while it just makes folks like me feel shitty.

Have some cash?

Look. A few bucks isn’t the hugest deal but, a few extra dollars can make a bad day a little better. There are so many methods for dropping a person a tip. It doesn’t have to be big money y’all. Maybe you’ve got five bucks to give. Five bucks is great. Five bucks can buy some lunch, go into a bank account, it accumulates. Sometimes, those small tips really just feel like an affirmation. A hey, I see you and this is what I can do.

And follow it up with a share. You see where I’m going here, you’re smart.

Other things you can do. Like folks work. Heart their etsy shops, like their FB pages, follow them on Medium and share the work you like.

Look, there are so many opportunities to actually do something, the constant hand wringing I see just makes me feel unseen, unvalued and after a while I don’t even want to share what I’m doing because, I figure if my important stuff goes unshared and unread, why share the fun stuff?

This is direct action. Is it flashy feel good video or something? Nope. This is the path of least effort most of the time. If you can spare two minutes to share some non-sense vaguely fake newsy video, you can spend as much or more time sharing the work of living humans who need help surviving.

Some tips:

Pick a day to share and make a text post on facebook. Use those words that make stuff happen, rad etc for visibility. Include a cute photo of your dog, child, cat or whatever for attention. You can say something like:

HEY I like these people/support their work/want to help them survive/give them the material support I can. In comments links to folks work.

If you’re not sure what to share, ask. If someone doesn’t want to be tagged, share but don’t tag. If someoneon you know, starts some bullshit, shut it down. Do not tag in the people you are supporting. Handle it.

If you usually don’t share serious stuff, I got nothin’ for you. I think, at this point here on a honest to goodness burn it all down type of day, it is decision time.

There are a lot of very huge problems in the world and feeling like you’re contributing can be a hard thing. It doesn’t have to be. Small help is all some of us can do and that’s important too.

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As usual, if you enjoyed this piece, my tip jars are open.

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