10 days for a better world – day 4

By now it is starting to become a habit to write about these little things I do in order to change the world for the better. I did realize something yesterday, that is an important part of actually changing the world. In an age where digital entertainment and passing-time are an important part of our lives, it is important to realize that the things you do can both be done on-line and and off-line.

I myself prefer the off-line variant, because this is more up close and personal. To help someone out that you can see right in front of you, is very different from helping someone out that is far away and you might never even know if your action had a real life effect for them. Though this is my preferred way of changing the world day by day, I am not saying it is the only way. There are awesome initiatives that take the digital to the real world, like couch surfing and crowd funding or the numerous petitions that you can sign and that CAN make a difference.

2014515Yesterday I had a moment that combined these two worlds perfectly. While I was travelling from one job to the other, the electricity at the train station that I was heading for failed. An entire train of people stranded (and probably some more trains). As I wanted to arrive at the other job in time, I started to compare all the different solutions to get from the train station we stranded to the destination. Eventually I found out a pretty okay route and shared it with the conductor of the train who then informed the entire train about the possibilities.

Arriving at the train station nobody knew exactly where to find the bus stop that we planned on going to. Once again modern technology helped us out. I found the route on my phone and informed the group of people that it was a little walk and that they could follow me if they wanted, and so they did. All of us managed to fit in the bus and though we were an hour late, we arrived at the train station without any real discomfort.

You see, helping out can sometimes mean that you make the best of a situation, using whatever means you have to help others out, taking the lead – as long as it is not a matter of fighting over leadership – and smile along the road, and in that way make life just a little bit easier for others.

One of the people in the group was heading towards a job interview, which he obviously was never going to make in time. He was still hoping for the best, but after a quick check he found out that it was probably end of story. From what he told me, the company did not show a lot of empathy regarding the situation and all he could do was call them again to see if he could reschedule. What was great about this young man was that however there was no way out, he was not stressing out. He did everything he could to make the best of the situation, but accepted that he could not change it. After our little chat we smiled, both of us, knowing that whatever happened, in the end it was just an unfortunate event crossing our paths and the best thing we could do was share a chat and a smile. Smiling can work really well in these situations, because there is no other way around it.

For the Dutch readers, here is a blog by Ilona, who is also actively participating in these 10 days for a better world.


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