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Three easy ways to save the world

Credit: Kaboompics

“Frequent, formal volunteering produces about £24 billion of economic output for Britain. That’s equivalent to 1.5% of GDP … Informal volunteering might add another £19 billion of output. Add in infrequent volunteering and you’re looking at around £50 billion, roughly the size of the British energy sector.”


2. Donate money to a cause and just go about your business per usual. I personally believe that small, recurring monthly payments are more effective over time than sporadic, but large, lump-sum payments. I would say that $5-$10 (or euros) per month to one specific charity is a good way to go. “But that’s nothing!” I knew you would say that. Well, first of all, feel free to give more. Secondly, it’s a simple numbers game. If every person in New York City (8.5 million people), Houston (2.3 million), Berlin (3.5 million), or whichever large city in the world donated that amount every month, I’m pretty sure we would make tremendous strides in solving a particular cause*. The point is, you can donate money to a good cause and just… continue with your career and life as usual. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to make a career-defining or hyper-dramatic change to your life in order to make an impact on the world.

“Why would you work so hard on something if it’s not what you really want?”


There are nonprofits all over the world that tackle a huge range of issues; think of causes like homelessness, mental health, social justice for minorities, access to education for low-income students, job opportunities for low-income households in some of the biggest cities in America, and so much more. Clearly, you don’t have to uproot your entire life just because you want to do something good in the world. A fantastic place to start is the 80,000 hours website, which is basically career-counseling for people who want a career with true social impact. What about the money then? Well, it’s not as bad as you think. Sure, you won’t be able to get six-figures but, as cliche as it sounds, doing something you care about is worth far more than a fat paycheck.


Good question, and one that certainly warrants an answer beyond jokingly claiming that it was pure clickbait. In general, it boils down to an argument that I’ve grown desperately tired of hearing these days: “but I’m just one person*, what could I ever do to change the world?” I became so fed up with hearing that nonsense that I realized it was necessary to address the topic. Basically, I think this argument comes from an all-or-nothing perspective that we have about making an impact: we either win a Nobel Prize, have monuments named after us, and reach the status of a deity or… we’re nothing. If we can’t be the former, then we just throw our hands in the air and say “why bother?


The cynic will say that one of these methods is “better” or makes a more substantial difference than the other ones: “Donating $5 per month to a cause doesn’t really make a difference; it’s much better to pursue a career in the social sector!” I have as little regard or respect for this person as Mugen had in this wonderful scene in ‘Samurai Champloo’ (you’ll know who he is after watching a few seconds of this). In all seriousness though, this is not about me doing “better” or “more” than you in making a difference in society. This is about getting every person to do his/her part, no matter how little it is, in fixing a world that evidently needs fixing.

It’s thinking that you can’t do a damn thing to fix any of these things.



Author of “You Say Soccer, I Say Football” and “Community Heroes: What a Year as an AmeriCorps VISTA Member Taught Me About Community Development”

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