Simple Ways To Make a Difference and Change The World

It's a warm evening and at a traffic light somewhere in Lagos, a young boy, hawking bananas is crying his heart out. What would you do? Would you stop to find out the problem or be too busy to notice? 

Just last week, my hairdresser told me a story, of how she arrived work on a rainy Monday in September, to meet a surprise. Someone had left a 3 month old baby in a box, outside her salon. Mind you, the baby was left outside in the heavy rain. 

I remember that Monday, because it had rained all night and into the morning. She took the baby to the Police station, only for the mother to come spying after a few hours. The mother escaped lynching, saying she was hungry and could not cope with breastfeeding. It was a terrible thing for her to do and it is so easy to judge her ( I know I did). Who knows, she may be suffering from post-natal depression. 

Thankfully, the baby survived it all and was all smiles, even in the rain. I said, her guardian angel was with the baby in that rain, without food. Or how else would you explain it?

Have you ever wondered how to make the world around you a better place? It is pretty easy to have the intentions but get confused on how to actualise this intention.

Here are some simple ways to make a difference and change the world:

  • Be Nice
It is as simple as it sounds. Yeah, the world is a tough place and we all need to hustle to get ahead. But we do not need to be mean, rude or nasty to people, in the pursuit of our goals. It could be something as small as saying "hello" to the security guard on your way in, "thank you" to the waitress at your favourite restaurant or asking the domestic help "how they are doing". We are in a recession and things are tough. But there are so many people who have it worse than you. . All it takes is making a conscious effort, even on a 
bad day.

  • Pay it Forward
You can give your time to make life easier for someone who is walking a path you have walked in the past. This could be to mentor a new colleague at work, spending time as an alunmi in your High school or secondary school. St. Vincent de Paul said "In the kingdom of charity, one prefers to suffer some inconvenience rather than inconvenience the neighbour." This may be time consuming but will make an impact in the life of others. I am active in The University of Leeds Alumni Association in Nigeria and had the opportunity to meet and talk to some prospective students. One young man, who attended with his parents, were very appreciative of all the tips I gave them for free.

  • Join a Charity Group or Organisation
There could be a limit to how much you can accomplish as an individual. But if we come together as a group and pool resources, there is so much more to accomplish. I joined The Society of St. Vincent de Paul around 2010 in my local parish. It is a global confederation founded by Blessed Frederic Ozanam in 1833 in France, devoted to the work of charity and helping the poor. The SSVP society can be found in almost every Catholic church around the world. You can donate your new or used items to the society, so they can share to the poor in your community. There are so many other charitable organisations like: The Red Cross, Salvation Army, Charitable causes, you can join to make a difference in the world around you.

There are so many ways to make a difference in the world. Thankfully, you don't need a million bucks to do it.

I'll end with this post with a quote from Sister Mary Clarence in Sisters Act II (played by Whoopi Goldberg)

"If you wanna be somebody, or wanna go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention."

What simple things do you do to make a difference in the world?


  1. Nice one macaulay...indeed quite easy to judge but really how would we behave if we walked in others shoes?love d write up

    1. Thanks Macaulay for stopping by. You are so right. Hope to see more of you here :)

  2. Nigeria is becoming such a difficult place that people are finding increasingly difficult to be kind and caring about others. I've always believed that a small kindness can go a long way...that N100 change that means nothing to you could be the difference between someone going hungry the entire day or buying a loaf of bread. We just have to start...

    1. We just have to start bro. No matter how little

  3. Two days ago, my colleagues and I saw a crippled man, and immediately by heart skipped a beat, I could feel a voice already telling me to give him something(most times if I ignore this voice,I'd feel uncomfortable all day) so I went ahead and gave him a token. My colleagues immediately castigated me for given him money saying he might use it for rituals or might end up going to a bar to get drunk with it. I was so disappointed, I told them I didn't really care about what he was gonna use the money for, I just felt that showing kindness/help to the needy goes an extra mile in making that person's day. People shouldn't be quick to judge others especially when you have no clue about how the person got there or one's behavior if it were the other way round!....The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention..(Oscar Wilde)

    1. Thanks Ada. The world can be a wicked place. But we shd not let that discourage us from doing good

  4. Very interesting read. Out of curiosity, who's got the baby now? I'd like to know if mum was considered fit to look after it.

    Times are hard and I find that sometimes, all people need is a listening ear, a comforting smile and generally things money can't buy.

    1. Thanks Nne. Well the mother spent some hours behind detention at the police station. After much pleading, her baby was given back to her. Hopefully she's learnt her lesson

  5. Hi Nelo,
    This is a great reminder that it does not take a million dollars to change the world. A coincidence that I just wrote about a 26 year old NYSC corper who raised the money to provide water and basic hygiene in her community in Gombe state. We can all be heroes and Sheroes in our own little ways.

    Meet Tomi Adeoti, a SHERO who did what the Nigerian government forgot to do

  6. @ "Be nice" is so simple yet so powerful. Kindness is so underrated these days, but it makes a world of difference. I practise kindness by empathising more with others. It's easier to feel someone else's pain when you put yourself in their shoes.

    The story of the abandoned baby really touched me. Hopefully, the mother won't do it again.

    I have to admit that I read this bit in a sing song voice - "If you wanna be somebody, you wanna go somewhere, you gotta wake up and pay attention" Lol

  7. Wow! How could she drop a three month baby in the rain? I am actually judging the mother because if she can't take care of the little one, she can drop him/her off at an orphanage.
    Sometimes, kindness can be repaid with evil but we have to look past that and be who we are for the greater good of the society.
    Nice post Nelo.

  8. What an inspiring post, Nelo!
    I would say do something for someone that they can't repay you for.
    Also, always smile. It brightens your life and that of the people around you.

  9. Yeah, its easy to judge someone because we aren't in those shoes. Like what Precious has said, do something and don't expect payment from anyone. Do it because your mind tells you it's the right thing to do.

  10. Oh wow! some people can be so mean...It doesn't take much from us to be nice, so why not do good to others? Lovely write up dear.

  11. Good to see these helpful information here,Thanks lots for sharing them with us.
    Simple Acts of Kindness
    Socially Conscious Companies


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