20 Ways You Can Make the World a More Peaceful Place
Overwhelmed by scary news stories? Here’s how to start feeling calmer and build a more peaceful world right now.
Get inspired by others
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and, in this case, also a public service. Being inspired by the many ways others create peace in the world is one of the best ways to get ideas of your own. May we suggest our archive of inspiring stories, including one about a survivor of domestic violence who is saving other girls.
Shop at thrift stores
Too many of our cheap clothes and household goods are made in sweatshops, perpetuating a cycle of violence and poverty. So instead of heading to the mall or a cheap online store, get your next outfit or set of dishes from a local thrift store or charity shop. You’ll be giving back to your community and helping reduce the dependence on cruel labor practices. Use these tips to find hidden gems as you’re perusing the racks.
Clean out your closet for charity
While you’re at that thrift store, you might as well donate a bag of clothes or other gently used items. Not all thrift stores are created equally however so do some research and donate to one that has a proven record of charitable donations and works. And make sure you avoid these 15 items thrift stores don’t want you to donate.
Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it
Make today the day you let an old grudge go. Forgiveness is the balm that heals deep wounds but the trick is that you have to offer it freely. Whether or not they deserve it or even want it, it will bring peace to your heart to give it to them. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it; start with these 12 proven ways to forgive, even when it’s hard.
Host a neighborhood potluck
Worldwide peace starts in neighborhoods just like yours, with people creating a culture of inclusivity. Start a tradition of holding a neighborhood potluck and be sure to invite not just your friends but everyone, regardless of culture, nationality, race, or economic status. Encourage people to bring a dish with family or cultural significance and share what it means to them. Knowing these 13 potluck etiquette rules will help you make yours a success.
Stand up for someone else
It’s all too easy to stand back when someone else is being teased, gossiped about, made fun of, or even threatened but for true peace to exist, we need to stop attacking others. Often it just takes a few calming words or a change of subject to redirect people to a kinder topic of conversation or activity. This includes both real-life interactions and online! These are the silent signs of bullying every parent should know.
Take a hike
There’s something so peaceful and soothing about being outside, in nature. Not only will your soul feel calmer and your mind quieter but you’ll have an increased appreciation for the Earth—and people who love the Earth will take better care of it. Not feeling like a hike? Simply being in nature—a practice called “forest bathing” in Japan—has proven mental and physical benefits.
Start a petition
Have a brilliant idea (or are a fan of someone else’s idea)? Call your legislators and encourage them to champion it. See something you hate? Start a petition and take it to the people in charge of changing the laws. If you can see a way to make your world a better, more peaceful place, don’t be afraid to take political action. You may be just one person but it only takes one to spark big changes—like these 15 ordinary people who changed the course of history.
Donate books to children
Children only learn what they are taught and the more you can expose young minds to beautiful and creative ideas through books, the more adults you’ll have in the future who are motivated to create beautiful things and look for creative solutions. Unfortunately, too many children are starved for age-appropriate and fun reading material. Ask a local teacher if you can buy some books to donate to their classroom or donate to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library which delivers books to children around the world. Start with these best children’s books ever written.
Love yourself, honestly
People who learn to love themselves, warts and all, are often more accepting of other peoples’ flaws. The point isn’t to become a narcissist but rather to give yourself a break and take care of your own health, mentally and physically. This way you’re better equipped to help others. Get inspired with these best self-care gifts.