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Guest Post By Nelie Janssen – Be The Change You Want To See In The World

This is my story about how Be The Change You Want To See In The World. It always surprised me that you need to have some sort of a diploma or experience for every single job in the world, from cashier to driver, to babysitter. Yet everybody can become a parent without having had any training in parenthood. And if you think about it, it’s kinda scary. I really take this parenting-job rather seriously. As parents we have such an influence on our children and our kids are looking up to us. I try to be aware of my actions and how I can be a good example to my kids (though often enough completely failing at it….:-)).

For a few years my life motto has become “Be the change you want to see in the world”. It’s applicable on so many levels; from being patient with my kids (still a lot more work to do there…), to being kind to people, to taking care of the environment, to choosing inspiring books for my kids to read, etc. I find it important, that in the hectic of life, to contribute to the world wherever I can and to teach my children to do the same. But how do I teach my children to make the world a better place?

My kids are 3 and 5 years and my oldest daughter understands more and more that not all people have the luxurious life that we’re leading. Living in Myanmar makes it more tangible, because poverty is all around us. So we give away toys and clothes to our church that hands it to their very poor community centers. We clean up some garbage at the park we live next to, and we help the neighbor get a new leash for his dog because the old one is too small and is giving him nasty wounds. All great, and we keep moving on with our life, forgetting about it. I wanted to make our good deeds more visible to the kids. Not to give ourselves a pat on the back, but as a constant reminder to my family to do good and to keep doing good.

A Goodness Tree – Be The Change You Want To See In The World

Be The Change You Want To See In The World

So we made a ‘goodness’ tree where we make pictures of some of the things we do as a family to contribute to the world. That can include a picture of our Secret Santa activity, of using reusable bags instead of plastic bags when we shop, of rescuing a bird that was stuck in our apartment building, of a drawing for a sick friend, and of sharing our toys with other children we don’t know.

The kids, looking at the tree, talk about the things they have been doing and are proud of it and excitingly come up with new ideas. They are seeing how  to Be The Change You Want To See In The World

So slowly our tree is growing leafs that hopefully are bearing fruit to this world. I encourage you to sign up for your membership at 365give and start your giving journey with the help of Jacqueline Way. She makes giving so easy, simple and such a pleasure, it is hard not to give every day with all the ideas she shares.

Be The Change You Want To See In The World

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)