Posts tagged ‘10 days’

February 23, 2016

The Better World

Yesterday a (guest) blog was published on Thebetterworld.org. The better world is an inspirational blog about the daily improvements we can all make to turn this earth into a better place. I want to invite you to head over to this blog and read it. More important, I want to invite you to join the challenge that is mentioned in the blog: 10 days for a better world! Are you ready?

Read the full blog here.

Some short bits and pieces extracted from the blog:

” … she liked me for who I was and therefore, was a good friend! A while ago, we ‘found’ each other again on Facebook and since then, I’ve seen her do so much awesome ‘better world’-stuff… ”

“In her letter, she first describes being hesistant about writing about ‘doing good stuff’, a feeling I recognize. Every blog post is a struggle ….”

” I hereby want to restart this little challenge. And yes, it is just a little challenge. It is just 10 days of small social actions. The 10 days is just a number of course. If you want to make that – like I try – into a life long habit, that is perfectly fine. I actually would appreciate that effort a lot!”

Again, read the full blog here: What they do: Ruth.

While you are clicking anyway, go ahead and like The Better World on Facebook.

thebetterworld

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August 19, 2014

10 days for a better world – day 10

Another day, another deed. What I did yesterday, is something I usually do on a weekend day, but since I have hardly been at home, I did not have the time to do so. Yesterday I made time for it, because this little thing I do every weekend is very important to me. I sent a postcard. The reason why this is important is because it was a postcard to my granddad who lives alone.

postcardSnail mail
When I was on a little break in Switzerland with my mother, she told me that grandpa hardly gets any nice snail mail. Most of what he gets is bills and maybe a magazine here and there, but nothing too personal. Of course my mama and the other family members try to send him a card now and then but when you are visiting someone every day, it is hard to send cards with interesting texts on them. I myself don’t see my granddad too often since I live in the other part of the country and as most of you know, I work hard and I work-out even harder. My time is mostly consumed by work, school and workouts. But I still think my granddad is a very important man to me and thus I wanted to do something for him.

Every week I try to write a little card. Mostly it is about what I did that week, or a thought that I want to share. Snail mail is slow, so when I get a message from my parents that my granddad received the card, the week is almost over again. This little gesture hopefully brings some extra joy in the old man his life and makes him realize that he is important to me, even though I am hardly there.

10 days are over
Now, my 10 days are over. 10 days of actively realizing that you can do something to better the world every single day. It has been quite an adventure, since it is very easy to forget about others on those days that completely use up all your spare time. The thing is, this little adventure was never about 10 days. It is about a lifetime. Tomorrow the next 10 days will start. And when those finish the next 10 days will start. Since a better world starts with small steps, it is possible to do something every single day. I hope that I will keep receiving your stories on what you did and do for a better world. I hope that you will keep realizing that it are those small things that can really mean something for someone else. It can truly make their day.

 

Follow Memoryloon (Dutch) for her stories on the 10 days for a better world.

Check out my days right here:

 

August 18, 2014

10 days for a better world – 7, 8 & 9

Crossfit Bink 36 - AALO Kettlebell course level 1

Crossfit Bink 36 – AALO Kettlebell course level 1

Three days to write about. Three days in which I tried to do little things to better the world. Let’s start with the beginning: Friday. Last week I decided to attend a course to learn more about Kettle bell training and how to coach people through the basic exercises. The fact that I subscribed was a combination of missing going to school, feeling fatigued by work all week and my body screaming for some exercise challenge. It was convenient to be a day off and since the course only started at 11:30 I had a good part of the morning for myself; time to clean the house a bit more and to think of what I would do for these 10 days.

As I was cleaning already, I figured I might as well go through my clothes in my closet to see what I could give away. I always bring my “old” cloths to the Red Cross, so they can re-use them. Mostly I take something from my closet an put it aside. If it stays aside for half a year, I donate it. If I start using the item again, I put it back in my closet. Friday I decided to me a bit more determined. Since there are quite some clothes that I haven’t worn in ages, I figured I’d better just bring them away immediately. This resulted in me walking to the donation point around the corner (yes, that is very convenient indeed!) and throwing away a good set of shirts, skirts and dresses.

This ritual reminded me of how we can re-use items; not only clothes, but also furniture, cars, bikes, and so many other things. My mother always donates her old clothes to me and since we have almost the same size, the clothes she shrinks out of, fit me perfectly. On my turn, I bring all the clothes that I end up not wearing to the Red Cross collection point and make yet another person happy with a single buy.

On Saturday morning I left for my training again and since I had a friend over Friday night, I felt broken. My body did not get enough sleep and my muscles were still recovering from all the kettle bell swings. As usual I cycled the 30 kilometres to the Cross fit box, which took me about half an hour more than usual. Time enough to think of other things I could do to better the world. My mind was quite blank and I did not want to repeat anything I already did since I also aim to inspire others. I needed fresh ideas. The idea of doing something today kept hunting me all through the day and it wasn’t until that evening that an opportunity presented itself. I was at the cinema with a friend, to celebrate his birthday, when I needed a little toilet break. Naturally I walked in, did my things and as I was leaving the room, some girls came walking towards the toilet. All I did was holding the door for them. Not much special, but a little courtesy can bring the world a long way. Like I mentioned before, sometimes the smallest things can matter and for these girls it did. They smiled and thanked me.

Working @ Sportcity Gouda

Working @ Sportcity Gouda

On to Sunday: Now, at first I thought I did not do anything today. That is the miraculous thing about bettering the world. Some things (like holding a door as well) come so naturally that you hardly notice that you did something. In my first draft of this blog, I wrote that I actually only did two days during the last three days, but then I remembered that I took some time after work at the gym to talk to one of the gym members about becoming a fitness instructor. I took my study books with me and gave her some time to go over them. I had already set up for her to meet one of the teachers on Friday and yesterday I explained some basics of human physiology, myology and anatomy.

For me, sharing information and knowledge, sharing experiences and philosophies / insights on subjects, comes naturally. Therefore I hardly noticed that this as well counts as an act to better the world. We are creatures who can do great things as long as we work together and share what we know and what we can do with others. Working together is one of the most powerful tools we have and by doing so, impossible tasks become possible. In this case the task was far from impossible, but creating the habit of sharing and working together is just as valuable.

So there you have it. My weekend. I wish you all a fantastic start of the week!

August 15, 2014

10 days for a better world – day 6

Yesterday was an overwhelming day. After I published my blog about 10 days for a better world, I got a lot of reactions. Not just a few friends who read the blog and wanted to let me know what they thought, like usual, but a lot of friends and readers have been sending me messages the rest of the day, sharing stories and experiences. All those friends had one thing in common. They all have encountered psychical difficulties some time during their life, or are still struggling their own mind. You guys honestly made me cry. Your stories were so beautiful. I am so overwhelmed by the strength and beauty of all of you. I want to thank all of you for sharing your story!

Now, since I have been working pretty hard in between answering all those messages, I hardly had any chance to think about what to do yesterday. But as one of my friends rightfully pointed out in her message, you can even do something to better the world from home. And that is exactly what I did yesterday. I could have send a postcard to a random address in the phone book, or send an e-card to a friend who I haven’t seen for a while. I could have donated money via websites, or support a start-up or crowd funding campaign. I could’ve shared something on Social Media, to ask for your action for a cause. I did something else.

Urgent Action AppI am an active supporter of human rights and since I think it is important to protect human rights, I have the Urgent Action App of Amnesty International installed on my phone. One of the urgent actions is about Robert Yelemaken (16) and Oni Wea (21), who both got arrested and then molested for putting up graffiti for a free and independent Papua. Of course, randomly putting up graffiti can be seen as a crime, but there is never a reason to beat up someone with a rifle. Yesterday I sent an e-mai lto the Indonesian government to ask for the release of these students.

There are many causes that allow you to support them right from your living room. There are even organizations that are actively looking for internet supporters, like the Red Cross in The Netherlands. And there are plenty of petitions you can digitally sign in order to help lobbies for a better world gain more power against institutions that are violating rights or destroying our planet.

Now, last but not least, I want to thank you for sharing your actions and your ideas about these “10 days” with me. It inspires me a lot to read about your efforts and experiences. It helps me to find new ways of making the world a better place as well. So, please keep sending your story, via a private message or via a comment, or whatever way!

August 14, 2014

10 days for a better world – day 5

And so it goes. Yesterday was day 5 of these 10 days to better the world. And yesterday was a day that I unexpectedly was able to do two things that I want to share with you. One about depression, and one about surprising someone who had some misfortune. Let’s start with depression.

At this moment the theme of depression is quite ‘trending’. With a great actor who took his life because he couldn’t cope with the fight he had to deliver in his head, over and over again, the world is wondering how it can be that someone who makes the whole world laugh is feeling so sad himself.

Yesterday I read about yet another friend who heard she was suffering from depression. It always gets to me, because I know from experience what it feels like and though I know how to live with it, I also know that depression is something that will never leave you, not entirely that is. For some it works pretty well to use medicines, for others it is easier to cope with the feelings than with the idea of drugs in their bodies and the effect this might have. Both ways are fine. The most important thing is, that people with depression both need a lot of ‘alone-time’ and a lot of people who support them.

Supporting someone with depression is not an easy task, because that vibrant person you know might become the saddest person you know. And being sad or down isn’t really appealing to others in the long run. So as soon as I heard about her diagnosis, I send her an e-mail. An e-mail that basically said””I am here if you want me to, and if you don’t, that is fine too.” And though this might seem like nothing, like an empty promise, I know it isn’t. I remember how much the support that I have had in the past still means to me. I know who was there for me and did not turn his or her back. And those people I hold close in my heart, though I might never have actually used their help, they were there for me and I hope I can be there for them as well.

Gorge_Amphitheatre - Sasquatch! 2006 (Creative Commons)

Gorge_Amphitheatre – Sasquatch! 2006 (Creative Commons)

And then there as this other girl. A girl who was planning on going to a major multiple day festival, who bought tickets for the festival and for her flight and prepared her festival gear. 2 days into the festival she got ill and had to return home. I don’t know this girl, but via a friend she came to my attention. He told me a part of her story and I decided to cheer her up for a bit. I managed to arrange for her that she could go to another – a bit smaller – festival later on so she could at least get a bit of that festival feeling back. Yesterday all was arranged and the friend could tell her. He told me that she was very happy with this surprise and that she appreciated my random act.

So, there it goes. Yesterday was a day that made me realize that you can go for small or for big when it comes to cheering someone up. For the person who receives the gift, the most important part is that the gift comes from an honest heart. That the gift is accompanied by good intentions and is meant as a gift without expecting anything in return (in my opinion, a gift should never be a trading position).

It brightens up my day when I read your stories about your 10 days, so keep on blogging and posting about them and please send me a link or so, so I can read about your great ideas as well! Have a great day!