Balance September 2017 - 37

A C T I O N S TAT I O N S

world

TAK
AC T E
IO
N OW N
!

FIND
YOUR
BALANCE
3 SMALL THINGS
YOU CAN DO
TO CHANGE THE
WORLD - NOW!

WONDER WALLS
In 2015 in Iran, the idea of
'Walls of Kindness' began.
Donated items are still hung
on the wall for the poor, with
the mottos: 'leave if you do
not need' and 'take if you
need'. The idea quickly
spread and last winter, all
over London, clothes rails
were set up to encourage
people to leave their old
coats for others. Why not
start your own wall this year?

SEEDS OF CHANGE

YOU CAN MAKE
A REAL TANGIBLE
DIFFERENCE AND
IN THE PROCESS
FEEL LESS FEAR AND
MORE HOPE AND
HAPPINESS
You can start right now. You don't need
money, or an organisation, or to be in a
position of power to begin. You just need
to start writing your own story. What those
other stories have in common is each started
with someone making a decision to do
something, and making a start by doing just
one small thing. This is how we do it.

Since 2004, office worker
Richard Reynolds has been
making London greener
and more bee-friendly
by secretly planting flowers
in shabby patches of public
space. He's gardened in
playgrounds, high streets
and traffic islands. And you
can too. Find a patch of
neglected earth, tidy it up
and get planting! See
guerrillagardening.org.

SUSPENDED COFFEE
It's simple: walk into a coffee
shop, buy one for yourself
and pay for one extra for
someone in need (don't
forget to let your server
know what you're doing).
Anyone in need may ask for
your 'suspended coffee.'
Find out which London
coffee shops are taking part
at suspendedcoffees.com.

FEEL THE ANGER. FIND THE HOPE.
TAKE ACTION
Start by asking yourself what you would like to
change about the world? What makes you angry/
sad/scared? For example, perhaps one of the things
is the amount of plastic dumped into the oceans. It
might not be the only thing, but it is definitely one of
the things that annoys you most. Start by exploring
possible solutions. Spend some time researching.
You will find groups of people all over the world
organising clear ups, education initiatives and
campaigns. Soon you'll have found some ideas
you can copy or shape to get you started.
Next take action - here you have choices. I
believe the best thing to do is take it right back to
a local level (you may not live near the ocean but
you will no doubt have a park, a wood, a lake or a
patch of earth that could do with a tidy. Get a bag,
get some gloves and get stuck in.)
Let people know you're taking action by telling
them or posting it on social media. Make sure
you are enjoying yourself, it's much easier to keep
anything up if it's fun - and when people see you
having fun they're much more likely to join in.
The longer you carry on, the greater the chance of
others being inspired by you, and of them feeling
empowered to do the same. The very least you'll do
is improve the little patch of earth you live in.

PEACE BEGINS AT HOME
This is how we change the world, by doing our
bit. At the heart of all small acts is kindness, a
revolutionary force for positive change. Share
your umbrella with a stranger on a rainy day, help
a neighbour carry their shopping up the stairs,
surprise your gran with a phone call - all of these
have ripple effects that are enormously powerful
and give us hope.
On the 21st of this month it is the United Nations'
International Day of Peace. Here's a challenge
for every one of us on this important day: let
peace start with each of us. Let's contribute by
channelling our own anger positively, by exploring
productive ways of discussing issues with those we
disagree with, and by supporting local, national
and international organisations who protect and
defend those suffering or fleeing conflict. And by
saying sorry, when we need to. We can't stop war,
prevent climate change, or eradicate poverty or
slavery, on our own. But we can each do our part.
So let's make a start with something small. Let's
live and write and tell and share those stories that
conquer fear, so we might all have the chance to
live happily ever after. B
The Little Book of Kindness by Bernadette Russell is
published this month by Orion Spring, priced £7.99.
We'd love to hear your stories of how you've
helped to make your community a better place to
live. Get in touch on Twitter: @BalanceLDN

September 2017 BA LA N CE

37


http://www.guerrillagardening.org http://www.suspendedcoffees.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Balance September 2017

Balance September 2017 - 1
Balance September 2017 - 2
Balance September 2017 - 3
Balance September 2017 - 4
Balance September 2017 - 5
Balance September 2017 - 6
Balance September 2017 - 7
Balance September 2017 - 8
Balance September 2017 - 9
Balance September 2017 - 10
Balance September 2017 - 11
Balance September 2017 - 12
Balance September 2017 - 13
Balance September 2017 - 14
Balance September 2017 - 15
Balance September 2017 - 16
Balance September 2017 - 17
Balance September 2017 - 18
Balance September 2017 - 19
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