People say our communities have been eroded, and authoritarianism is on the rise. Humans are more isolated, and this means it is harder for some of us to build and maintain strong bonds through which we could ultimately foster collective growth. Many of us want to act, and many of us want to act right now. But we don’t know where to start, what to do, who to ask. There is too much noise. We turn inwards, and to our screens. At this noise, where do we begin to build sustainable and meaningful for all of us?
One of the easiest things to do in life is, to tell the truth. It’s not just easier in the present, it also makes your future easier, as well as keeping your past clearly for yourself and those around you. If you are seeking to have a genuine, positive influence, you need a solid foundation that others will be able to relate to, look up to, and confide in. Honesty is a language that everyone understands and appreciates and will help you build strong and meaningful bonds with other people.
Act in a Collective
United, we stand. Think about a tiny water molecule, rocking back and forth, time after time, against a rocky shore, in waves. Its movement, and its direction, are shared by all the other water molecules around it. Back, and forth, back, and forth. By the time those at the surface have evaporated, thousands more have been replaced by a distant river. If your action shares a common direction with the action of others, it will be more impactful. At trvst.world, you’ll find that there are platforms being created to connect you straight to the change you’re looking to be part of. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these kinds of platforms because this is how we will be able to move forward effectively in the future.
Start with Yourself
What we want for the world is often a reflection of what we want for our own selves. A healthy human naturally exudes positive energy, and thus beginning at home is always the best advice to follow at the start. You don’t want to be getting ahead of yourself. Ask yourself, how engaged are you? How wasteful are you? How do you choose to spend your money? How much care do you give yourself and those around you?
Then Your Immediate Circle
Who are these people? Seriously? Your friends? Yes. Your strongest allies, against all odds. You know how much they matter to you and how much you owe them. We are a reflection of those who surround us. If you have friends who you disagree with, GOOD. There is a fine line between being a real activist and being stuck in an echo chamber. Your best friends are those who will challenge you, cherish you, and help you grow.
Share and Collaborate
It doesn’t have to be something you own! And don’t be afraid to ask others if they would mind sharing something with you. The best things to share are usually immaterial, such as a skill, a language, or other kinds of information.
Collaboration emerges as a conversation, but it’s also a process of confrontation and should be recognized as such. The richest results are found in processes of antagonism, which produce more shared knowledge and experiences. Don’t hold back! Genuine, meaningful conversations can be like roller coaster rides, but that makes them all more memorable.
Be Humble, Be Grateful
Nobody likes it if you brag about what you do, no matter what it is. That’s especially true if you fly off to Africa only to post hundreds of pictures of you with children to show everyone you know how good you are. That’s not what altruism is about. You should always remember and reciprocate the help that comes to you, even if it means going out of your way – what goes around comes around. And that doesn’t have to have any negative connotations!
Don’t Be an Opportunist
If you tend to be self-motivated, that’s great. To be able to share that with others, you will have to put their ideas, needs, and aspirations on an equal footing to yours. Ask yourself if you are really seeking to help others out of genuine altruism, or if you are doing it for more selfish reasons. If you are, examine that need and accept it, but it is essential you do not ignore it.
It’s no secret — change comes from within. From the inside out, and then onto those around us, we love, this is how we can influence things at our immediate scale, at minimal costs to our lives or our time. In a world of public relations and advertising, the lines are often blurred between self-promotion and selfless action. Clarity and trust are essential to spur sustainable and long-term positive change. If this action is shared, then so will the results it will bring.