After I read the blog prompt for this week, I immediately thought of John Mayer’s song “Waiting on the World to Change.” The lyrics of this song speak to every generation because people often stand by waiting for things to change in the world. People want to change the world, but their desire for change is quickly overcome with the feeling of hopelessness. People feel like they are too small and simply cannot make an impact.
There are many different ways to approach this week’s prompt. I think that what really needs to be changed in the world is people’s generosity and kindness. As corny as it may sound, think about it. How much better would your day be if more people smiled and said hi? I know this change is very common and gets thrown around a lot, but it is because it is a simple yet very important change. People need to stop walking around being miserable with their lives or saying no to things too quickly. So what if you have an 8 am class or you have 6am weight lifting? This is life and it only comes around once so won’t it be better to live more positively and be more generous to others? As we have all witnessed lately, times of terror bring out the true generosity and giving spirit of humans. When you see people care about total strangers it restores your faith in humanity. What if that could happen on a daily basis?Not of that magnitude of course, but everyone needs a helping hand once in a while. You might never know how much a smile or a simple hello, how are you, could brighten up someone’s day.
How many times have you walked by a student at Bucknell that you kind of know and kept your head down instead of saying hi? I challenge everyone to start being nice and more generous to people even if it is through a small act. A 2003 research study at the University of Michigan revealed that there are many positive effects of generosity and kindness by the person actually giving the kind act. The positive effects include improving one’s mental and physical health and promoting longevity. It is not just a benefit to be the receiver of a generous act, but only the giver of the act too.
Sasha Dichter spoke about his Generosity Experiment on Ted Talks. He said “yes” to every request for help whether or not it was a stranger on the street or an established non-profit organization. He wanted to stop saying no to people because he said that “he was hiding behind what was smart and it was keeping him from doing what was right.” As the experiment progressed he started feeling better about himself even though he gave away more of his money. “He started to realize that if he wanted the world to be more open and action orientated and more generous then he had to be more open, action orientated and generous.”You have to be the change you want in the world, it starts with you. No matter what it is, if you want something to change you have to change yourself first. I’m not saying to give money to every single person who asks you, but stop saying no every time. Start saying hi to people and offering a helping hand even if it is not convenient for you. Be happier, focus on the positives, help others less fortunate than you because you might just notice that you are becoming a better person.