How many of you want to change the world for the better? Stupid question…Well, besides reading blogs, I also love to read books (I’m sure most other bloggers are the same). Although my blog’s main focus is on the Blogosphere, we have to remember that the Blogosphere can encompass just about any subject. People write about just about everything. Or, they soon will be. One topic I’m sure you’ll all be interested in, is on how we can make the world a better place, one small step at a time. We are each only one person, but every action in our day leaves a ‘footprint’-both ecological and social, and so we can make a lot of difference when together our efforts have a cumulative effect. I bought a paper book recently (not very ecologically friendly I admit, but I love them) called ‘365 Ways to Change the World’ by Michael Norton. You have got to check it out.

I really think every human being should have a copy of this book. The basic concept is that there’s a page and an idea for every day of the year. Themes are Community and Neighbourhood, Culture and Creativity, Democracy and Human Rights, Discrimination, Employment and Enterprise, Environment, Globalisation and Consumerism, Health, International Development, Peace, Volunteering and Citizenship, and Young People.

For example, today’s (December 13) subject is ‘Hunger Banquet’. It starts out with the proclamation, ‘Our planet produces enough food to feed every woman, man, and child-and with some left over. There’s some topical information, a short story about a woman in Mozambique, some number facts (always effective for creating understanding), and most importantly-related links on the Internet (On this page: Act Fast: Oxfam America‘ and ‘Oxfam‘.) This is a very interactive book; reading it while on the Internet brings about a whole new learning experience.

At the start of the book there’s a 20-question checklist for you to measure where you fall on a scale ranging from ‘eco-sinner’ to ‘socially-minded saint’. Here’s some sample questions: Do you regularly fill up your kettle with only as much water as you need? Do you regularly turn off the lights when you leave the room? Do you buy local and support local small businesses? Do you do things for others or for the community-volunteering at least 2 hours per week?

I’m sure there’s something you see others do that you don’t approve of. Tell me about something that you do to help the world. Better yet, tell me something that you’d like to improve on in your own life. There’s supposed to be a website related to the book at ‘365 Act‘, but when I checked it was down. Hmmm. Could it be a sign of the times? Man that sounds pessimistic…

Here are a couple of more positive quotes from the beginning of the book:

‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’ – Mahatma Gandhi

‘Citizens of the global village unite…You have nothing to lose but your universe.’ – Perminder Singh

‘There is certain liberation in understanding that we can’t do everything. This enables us to do something and to do it very well. – Archbishop Oscar Romero

Jesse S. Somer has a lot to do before he’s considered a ‘socially-minded saint’, but he’s on the road…A turtle with a flat tyre, but he’s on the road baby.

This is a part of the world that I would like my great-grandchildren to know well.